Opportunity's last gift from Mars is a attractive panorama

Mindy Sparks
March 14, 2019

The panorama is made up of 354 individual images, which Opportunity snapped from May 13th to June 10th.

In late spring 2018, before the storm began assembling itself over the Martian plains, Opportunity took a series of photos of the Perseverance Valley. The rover lost touch with NASA in June after it reported the approaching storm that ultimately covered its solar panels with dust and rocks.

One important part of the mission was sharing images with the public as they came out-a practice that has now become standard for space agencies-and it has had a big impact on the way we conceive of Mars.

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.

This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery.

"To the right of center, you can see the rim of Endeavor Crater rising in the distance", he added. Since its last communication on June 10, 2018 operators sent more than a thousand commands to try and restore communications, but in February, NASA declared the mission over. It shows a number of interesting features of Perseverance Valley, in addition to the pristine, unexplored floor of Endurance Crater. This is because Oppy did not have time to image those frames with color filters before the devastating dust storm struck.

NASA spent months attempting to contact Opportunity after conditions cleared and sunlight was able to reach the rover.

However, NASA's Mars exploration perseveres with the InSight lander, which touched down in November, now just beginning its scientific investigations and the Curiosity rover, which has been exploring Gale Crater for more than six years.

Opportunity's mission launched on July 7, 2003, and landed on the Red Planet on January 24, 2004. If you combine these images by putting each one into the red, green, or blue colour channel, you can see an approximate true-colour image of what Mars looks like.

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