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NASA's Opportunity Rover took one final stunning 360 degree panorama of Mars

14 March 2019, 08:42 | Dale Webster

NASA Opportunity's Last Panorama

NASA           Opportunity's Last 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.

When the light finally returned to the surface after the dust had settled, Opportunity was still silent and would remain that way for months, despite repeated attempts to wake it back up.

The panorama was created from 354 individual images taken over a 29-day period last spring using three different filters on the rover's Panoramic Camera (Pancam.) Several features of the surrounding area can be seen, as well as some tracks that the rover left before it came to its final resting place.

NASA's Opportunity rover is dead, but its final images live on in the form of a attractive 360-degree panorama.

"This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery", NASA's Opportunity project manager John Callas said in a statement. It shows a number of interesting features of Perseverance Valley, in addition to the pristine, unexplored floor of Endurance Crater. But in June 2018 NASA delivered the bad news Opportunity's solar-powered batteries were failing as a planet-sized duststorm descended on Mars.

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.




The color panorama was built via a sequence of 354 images snapped by the rover's Panoramic Camera between May 13 and June 10, 2018. This is because Oppy did not have time to image those frames with color filters before the devastating dust storm struck.

After eight months of effort and sending more than a thousand commands in an attempt to restore contact with the rover, NASA declared Opportunity's mission complete on February 13, 2019.

Opportunity and its twin, Spirit, landed a few weeks apart in January 2004.

NASA's Opportunity rover defied all odds by outliving its mission beyond the wildest expectations.

It survived a bad dust storm in 2007 and is now being closely watched to see if it can survive a massive storm that has an estimated opacity level of 10.8, a sharp increase from the earlier storm's 5.5 tau.



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