This Is the Last Panorama Opportunity Send to Earth Before It Died

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity leaves us with one final, glorious panorama

This annotated image is a cropped version of the last 360-degree panorama taken by the Opportunity rover's Pancam from May 13 through June 10, 2018.

"This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery", said in a statement accompanying the photo Opportunity project manager John Callas.

The incredible 360-degree panorama shows what would been Opportunity's final resting spot in Perseverance Valley.

In February, NASA announced that its pioneering Opportunity rover had died after almost 15 years of exploring the Martian surface, marking the end of a mission which has significantly broadened our understanding of the Red Planet. The images composing the panorama were taken over the course of 29 days. "Just to the left of that, rover tracks begin their descent from over the horizon and weave their way down to geological features that our scientists wanted to examine up close". It shows a number of interesting features of Perseverance Valley, in addition to the pristine, unexplored floor of Endurance Crater.

The rover may be gone, but its legacy will live on thanks to the wealth of data and observations it made during decade-plus time exploring the Red Planet.

NASA's Mars rover Opportunity leaves us with one final, glorious panorama

NASA said: "Opportunity's scientific discoveries contributed to our unprecedented understanding of the planet's geology and environment, laying the groundwork for future robotic and human missions to the Red Planet". This is because Oppy did not have time to image those frames with color filters before the devastating dust storm struck. After more than half a year of silence and more than one thousand attempts at making contact, however, the space agency eventually declared Opportunity's mission over on February 13, 2019. They found a great deal of such evidence, confirming that the Red Planet was much wetter, and potentially habitable, in the ancient past.

NASA launched the Opportunity rover as part of its Mars Exploration Rover program in 2004.

Opportunity's twin, Spirit, touched down on the opposite side of Mars roughly three weeks earlier.

Opportunity was only supposed to stay on Mars for 90 days, but has now lasted an astounding 14 years.

Related:

Comments


Other news