Korolev crater captured by ESA’s Mars Express satellite (Image: ESA)

ESA says the ice in Korolev crater is resistant to melting against summer warming because the giant ice plains create a “cold trap,” ESA explains. As the air moves over the crater, it cools and sinks onto the ice, creating a cool “shield” over the ice cap.

So even when the season changes, Korolev is still filled with ice. Most of the craters on Mars, even in colder regions, do not exist all year round.

As the Mars Express flies over the desert regions of Mars, it takes photos of various expanses of land, then transmits them to Earth. ESA scientists then combine the images to create a cohesive picture of the various Martian terrains, dry lakes and frozen bodies of water.

Korolev’s image above is a composite of five different images, each taken in a separate orbit on Mars.

Miệng núi lửa khổng lồ chứa đầy băng trên sao Hỏa

Soviet rocket specialist Sergei Korolev who brought Sputnik 1 and Yuri Gagarin into space (Image: Valet.ru)

Korolev is named after a “giant” in the history of the universe: rocket specialist Sergei Korolev.

Korolev led the Soviet space program and beat the Americans in the space race. The Soviet space project, led by Korolev, sent the first satellite into space in 1957 three months before the United States (January 1958, the first American satellite named Explorer 1 entered orbit.).

“He is an important figure in the history of the universe – even though he died too soon,” said space historian Robert Pearlman.

ESA said Mars Express is doing very well and will continue to scan the topography of Mars and transmit truly brilliant and authentic images of Earth.