With the odds of humanity not only visiting, and even colonizing, Mars increasing by the day (go go SpaceX ITS!), it makes sense that we'd want to have as much data and visual mapping of the Red Planet as possible. But despite images of our planetary neighbor and possible future space vacation (space-cation) home revealing familiar components like liquid water, it's still undeniably a strange place. This image taken by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, which looks like something Xenomorph creator H.R. Giger sculpted, is a perfect example of that truth:
The black and white image was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) aboard NASA's MRO, and offers a glimpse of Mars' cratered and rippling surface in stunning detail. This particular LV-426-ish landscape definitely looks like it's hiding some secrets as well, like maybe a massive clutch of big ol' alien eggs hidden in an underground chamber. Seriously, people going to Mars. We know you like to explore, but for the love of space safety, remember to obey protocol!
While this particular image of Mars is stunning (and oh so creepy), the HiRISE system itself is quite mind-boggling as well. The 143-pound camera has an aperture of nearly 20 inches—puts that Canon 5D to shame—and can resolve objects on the Martian surface that are less than three feet across. Also, it cost $40 million to build.
Despite the hefty cost, it still seems worth the money to build and utilize high-resolution systems like HiRISE: As we explore the solar system, we're going to want to know what's out there before we arrive...
What do you think about this beautiful and spooky image of Mars? Does it make the Red Planet seem all the more enticing, or are horrible thoughts of what happened on the Nostromo already flashing through your mind? Let us know in the comments below!
How acidic is the Xenomorph's blood?
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