NASA Mars rover captured one last panorama from its final resting place

Rob Waugh
It captured one last panorama (NASA)

A six-wheeled robot which has sent signals to Earth from Mars captured one last stunning panorama from what would become its final resting place, NASA has revealed.

The Opportunity rover was on the Red Planet for 15 years – after a planned 90-day mission, but was enveloped in a huge dust storm last year.

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

Over 29 days last spring, NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity captured a 360-degree panorama from multiple images taken at what would become its final resting spot in Perseverance Valley.

It captured one last panorama (NASA)
It captured one last panorama (NASA)

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

‘To the right of center 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 geologic features that our scientists wanted to examine up close.

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‘And to the far right and left are the bottom of Perseverance Valley and the floor of Endeavour crater, pristine and unexplored, waiting for visits from future explorers.’

Located on the inner slope of the western rim of Endeavour Crater, Perseverance Valley is a system of shallow troughs descending eastward about the length of two football fields from the crest of Endeavour’s rim to its floor.

The panorama is composed of 354 individual images provided by the rover’s Panoramic Camera (Pancam) from May 13 through June 10.