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First Mars pixels for CaSSIS camera

© 2016 EPFL

© 2016 EPFL

They may not look like much for now, but these first pixels show the first image of Mars taken with the CaSSIS camera on-board the Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft on its way to Mars.

The Colour and Stereo Surface Imaging System (CaSSIS) on board the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is doing well. Three days ago, it captured its first ever image of Mars, from a distance of 41 000 000 km. The image is a bit pixelated, but from that distance the planet is relatively as big as a football 1.3 km away! In a month, the spacecraft will be about half-way to Mars and the first planetary surface images should be available by the end of the year. 

These will be eagerly accepted by eSpace/IDIAP PhD student Stepan Tulyakov, who will be working on the reconstruction of the planet topology using state-of-the-art adaptive image processing techniques. Already, Stepan started receiving images from the orbiter which are used to calibrate the algorithms.

Author: Simon Dandavino