Opportunity's last gift from Mars is a handsome panorama

Opportunity's last gift from Mars is a handsome panorama

The courageous little rover, which was only meant o explore Mars slightly longer than 90 days, spent an unbelievable 15 years on the Red Planet.

NASA hoped the robot would return to working order after the storm once sunlight could reach its solar panels, but it never responded.

The image showed what would become the 15-year-old explorer's final resting place, Perseverance Valley.

"This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery", Opportunity project manager John Callas from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. "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".

Perseverance Valley sits on the inner slope of Endeavour Crater's western rim and is composed of shallow troughs stretching from the top of the rim to the bottom, approximately the length of two football fields.

The individual pictures where taken one by one between May 13 and June 10 or Martian Sols 5,084 through 5,111.

Recently NASA has given up trying to contact the Mars Rover Opportunity, and contact with it was lost in the early summer of a year ago in connection with the beginning of a powerful dust storm. Visible in the image is the Endeavor Crater's rim, the rover's tracks, and unexplored regions on Mars' landscape.

The images that make the stunning panorama of Mars (see below) were captured in different wavelengths, such as violet, green, and near-infrared, all of them helping to compose the 360-degree picture.

NASA said Opportunity has laid the foundation for future missions to boldly go where no human has gone before. Some parts are still black and white, because Pancam didn't have time to take photos of them through the green and violet filters before the dust storm hit. Helpfully, the image is annotated with other geologic details to give you a better sense of what you're looking at.

This storm-which blanketed the entire planet-caused NASA to lose contact with the solar-powered rover.

After more than 1,000 attempts to reconnect, the space administration last month conceded it was not coming back.

The upcoming 2020 rover mission will for the first time seek signs of past microbial life on the planet, together with the European Space Agency's ExoMars rover.

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

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