NASA Alternative rover's final panorama reveals its closing resting place

Pat Wise
March 16, 2019

Mission team members have now stitched together 354 of these images, taken from May 13 through June 10, into a gorgeous panorama of the rover's final resting place.

'And to the far right and left are the bottom of Perseverance Valley and the floor of Endeavour crater, pristine and unexplored, waiting for visits from future explorers'. After several attempts to restore contact from Earth, they received the final communication from Opportunity on the June 10th.

"This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery, ' John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement describing the image".

Opportunity arrived at Perseverance Valley, a system of shallows within the inner slope of the Endurance Crater, in July 2018.

After almost 15 years exploring the Red Planet, the Opportunity rover captured the images for what would be its final panorama from May 13 to June 10, 2018.

In February 2019, NASA declared Opportunity's mission over, 15 years after it began.

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The solar-powered Opportunity Rover's trail blazing mission was lauded as one of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration.

Over 29 days last spring, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity documented this 360-degree panorama from multiple images taken at what would become its final resting spot in Perseverance Valley. For these images, the filters block out all light except for three wavelengths: 753 nanometres (near-infrared), 535 nanometres (green), and 432 nanometres (violet).

Last month, NASA announced that the mission of the Rover Opportunity has officially come to an end: the Agency has given up trying to contact the device ceases to get in touch in the early summer of 2018. Mission scientists combined 354 separate images taken during this period and added false color to distinguish various features, such as the rover's tracks, its low-gain antenna, a rocky outcrop known as "Ysleta del Sur", the rim of Endeavor Crater, and a small hill on the crater rim.

NASA's Opportunity rover defied all odds by outliving its mission beyond the wildest expectations. NASA says the black and white frames at the bottom left of the image are that way because the rover did not have time to finish the panorama before it died. These images were assembled by NASA and published this week as Opportunity's "parting shot".

It landed on Mars' Meridiani Planum plain near its equator on January 25, 2004.

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