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This absolutely stunning photograph was taken by ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft during its recent flyby past Mars on Saturday. In order to receive a gravity boost from the planet, the spacecraft flew past only 1,000 km above the surface.
This image was actually taken by the Rosetta Lander Imaging System (CIVA), which is onboard the Philae lander system. This is the lander that will eventually detach from Rosetta and land on the surface of Comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. This flyby allowed engineers to test the lander’s systems and view of the ground below it.
Rosetta will get another opportunity to test its systems in November 2007, when it does another Earth flyby to receive another gravity boost.
Original Source: ESA News Release