NASA Opportunity's Last Image: Beautiful Panorama Reveals Mars Rover's Final Resting Place

NASA  JPL-Caltech  Cornell  ASU

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.

Although the panorama provides one last look of Opportunity's resting grounds, the rover's very last image tells a slightly bleaker tale.

The picture is an incredible panoramic view of Opportunity's resting place in the aptly named Perseverance Valley.

The trailblazing mission ended after almost 15 years of exploring the surface of Mars, but its legacy will live on.

NASA may have declared its Opportunity rover lost, but we'll always have its data and bank of raw images.

"This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery", said John Callas, Opportunity project manager at JPL. It shows a number of interesting features of Perseverance Valley, in addition to the pristine, unexplored floor of Endurance Crater. After several attempts to restore contact from Earth, they received the final communication from Opportunity on the June 10th.

The panorama features images captured with Opportunity's Pancam instrument from May 13, 2018, to June 10, 2018.

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The trailblazing rover missions may be over but NASA said Opportunity's legacy "will live on".

Its scientific discoveries contributed to an advanced understanding of the planet's geology and environment, setting foundations for future robotic and human missions to the harsh environment of Mars. For these images, the filters block out all light except for three wavelengths: 753 nanometres (near-infrared), 535 nanometres (green), and 432 nanometres (violet).

Opportunity, along with its partner, Spirit, launched in 2003 as part of the Mars Exploration Rover program to study Mars' surface. But the echoes of the rover's mission to the Red Planet can still be heard.

Its mission was supposed to last only 90 days, but it ended up doing NASA's bidding millions of miles away from home for 15 years.

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

In its lifetime, Opportunity has explored two craters on the red planet, Victoria and Endeavour, as well as found several signs of water.

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