Take a look at Mars – up close and personal Independent Online

European space officials on Wednesday showed off the first pictures of Mars sent back by the Mars Express spacecraft as it heads for a Christmas rendezvous with the red planet. The pictures, taken from 5,4 million kilometres away, aren’t top quality, but they do prove that the spacecraft’s German-made HRSC high-resolution camera is in working order before it begins orbiting Mars and snapping pictures close up.