India’s Mangalyaan—the world’s cheapest Mars mission—has sent back some stunning images of the red planet’s surface.
On July 19, the mission snapped images of Ophir Chasma, a massive canyon that is some 317 kilometres long and 62 metres wide. It is part of the Valles Marineris, a system of canyons on Mars that’s about 4,000-km long—nine times the length of the Grand Canyon in the US.
Mangalyaan, with its indigenously-developed Mars Color Camera, is also transmitting photographs of other physical formations on Mars, including craters, ridges and valleys.
Launched on Nov. 05, 2013 by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as its first interplanetary mission, Mangalyaan reached the Mars orbit in Sept. 2014. Since then it has been monitoring the planet and studying its surface and atmosphere.