NASA Opportunity rover’s last panorama shows its final resting place

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																	This is the last gorgeous Mars panorama that Opportunity captured before it died					
								
			
	
		Mike Wehne

Science This is the last gorgeous Mars panorama that Opportunity captured before it died Mike Wehne

The fearless little rover, which was only meant o explore Mars slightly longer than 90 days, spent an unbelievable 15 years on the Red Planet. These images were assembled by NASA and published this week as Opportunity's "parting shot".

Comprised of 354 individual images captured between May 13 and June 10 of a year ago, the panorama has been stitched together to highlight Perseverance Valley, a system of shallow troughs on the inner slope of the western rim of the Endurance Crater. This panorama combines photos taken through three filters that capture images in different wavelengths - near-infrared, green and violet.

"This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery", John Callas of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement describing the image.

The black-and-white frames at the image's bottom-left are a result of the rover not having time to snap the location with its filters before a planet-wide dust storm encircled Mars.

"To the right of centre you can see the rim of Endeavor Crater rising in the distance". "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".

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

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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.

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.

Opportunity was part of the Mars Exploration Rovers program that called for two identical machines to be sent to Mars.

When the light finally returned to the surface after the dust had settled, Opportunity was still silent and would remain that way for months, despite repeated attempts to wake it back up.

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.

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