Before going silent due to a huge dust storm on June 10, 2018, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity documented an amazing 360-degree panorama from multiple images taken at what would become its final resting spot in Perseverance Valley. The Mars rover collected these images over the course of 29 days.
The annotated version below includes additional information on features visible in the panorama.
This was Opportunity’s last “panorama”. Its last photo, due to a huge dust storm which ended the rover’s life, was a hazy picture of the Martian sky.
The rover entered hibernation mode on June 12, 2018, but it remained silent after the storm subsided in early October. 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.
Honors and Records of Mars Opportunity Rover
Honoring Opportunity’s great contribution to the exploration of Mars, an asteroid was named Opportunity: 39382 Opportunity. The name was proposed by Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld who, along with Cornelis Johannes van Houten and Tom Gehrels, discovered the asteroid on September 24, 1960. Opportunity’s lander is Challenger Memorial Station.
On July 28, 2014, it was announced that Opportunity, having traversed over 40 kilometers (25 miles), had become the rover achieving the longest off-world distance, surpassing the previous record of 39 kilometers (24 miles) on the Moon by Lunokhod 2.
On March 24, 2015, NASA celebrated Opportunity having traveled the distance of a marathon race, 42.195 kilometers (26.219 miles), from the start of Opportunity’s landing and traveling on Mars.
On Sol 3,894 (January 6, 2015 – a Martian day is called “sol”, which is 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds), Opportunity reached the summit of “Cape Tribulation,” which is 443 feet (135 m) above “Botany Bay” level and the highest point yet reached by the rover on the western rim of Endeavour Crater according to NASA.
- “Opportunity’s Parting Shot Was a Beautiful Panorama” on the NASA Mars website
- “Opportunity Legacy Pan” on the NASA Mars website
- Opportunity Rover on Wikipedia
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