Sometimes, Mars looks like a familiar desert landscape. On other occasions, it reminds us that it is an extraterrestrial planet. New images from the ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter show the red planet in all its exotic splendor.
One image in particular looks like a hairy creature that stretches long legs on the surface of Mars. The composite color image shows what the ESA describes as a "dust devil frenzy". In real color, the streaks would be dark red. The wild model is probably the result of hundreds or thousands of little dust devils roaming the landscape.
The ExoMars (Cassis) color and stereo surface imaging system has also achieved the tricky feat of taking a picture of NASA's InSight LG.
An annotated version of the image indicates the LG, the landing blast marks the end of 2018, the heat shield as well as the back and the parachute. "It's the first time that a European instrument identifies a LG and its equipment on the red planet," ESA said.
The InSight image gives the ExoMars team the assurance that Cassis will be able to document the next, launch planned mid-2020.
The ExoMars orbiter has been in residence on Mars since late 2016. In addition to capturing images of the surface of Mars, it also explores atmospheric gases and helps relay InSight data back to Earth.
ExoMars has proven to be an ideal companion for NASA, who also has a penchant for .