In June 2018, a large dust storm skipped much of Mars, including the solar panels of the Opportunity rover. NASA & # 39; s Opportunity Mission has been operating on the red planet for 15 years – a long journey with many dangers and challenges. However, this particularly intense storm proved too much even for Opportunity, and after many months of trying to communicate with the rover, NASA technicians officially ended the mission. But before the batteries were completely empty, Opportunity radiated its very last photo.
"Oppy" took this panorama just before the Mars storm unleashed his anger. It was taken from the robber's final resting place, a system of shallow troughs that ironically are called Perseverance Valley.
The 360-degree image – created by stitching together 354 individual images – shows a series of interesting geological features, including the Endeavor crater rim and rocky outcrops. For a full, zoomable version of the panorama, visit the NASA website.
"This latest panorama embodies what made our Opportunity Rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery," said Opportunity Project Manager John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "To the right of the middle you see the edge of Endeavor Crater rising in the distance. Just to the left of it, the rover tracks begin their descent from across the horizon and weave themselves to the geological features that our scientists wanted to see up close. And far right and left "The bottom of Perseverance Valley and the floor of the Endeavor crater are untouched and untouched, awaiting visits from future explorers."
To capture each individual image in the 360 panorama, the rover used his Panorama camera (Pancam) between 13 May and 10 June 2018. The majority of the panorama was taken using three filters to obtain color images. However, some of the images, such as those at the bottom left, were taken during the last days of the robber. When the solar panels were covered with dust, Oppy did not have enough power to capture these very last photos in green and violet filters, so that some parts are black and white.
Although Opportunity's mission is over, the legacy of the rover continues to exist through the invaluable science it has made possible, but also in the hearts of people around the world.
"The scientific discoveries of Opportunity have contributed to our unprecedented understanding of the geology and environment of the planet, and have laid the foundation for future robotic and human missions to the Red Planet."