A parting panorama from the Opportunity Mars rover

Natural (top) and false-colour views of a final panorama captured by NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover before it succumbed to a global dust storm last year. Images: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU

A final panorama from the Opportunity Mars rover, assembled from 354 images captured by the spacecraft’s Panoramic Camera, or PANCAM, between 13 May and 10 June 2018 provide a detailed look at the rover’s final resting place in Perseverance Valley just below the rim of Endeavour Crater. After nearly 15 years of operation on Mars, Opportunity last contacted flight controllers on Earth that same June 10 as a global dust storm enveloped the red planet, effectively cutting off sunlight at the surface. The solar powered Opportunity’s battery drained and the spacecraft never recovered.

Click on the labeled image above for a larger view. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU

The final panorama seen here shows the rim of Endeavour Crater in the distance and a rocky outcrop just left of center that Opportunity was studying when the dust storm developed. At right of center, about halfway down, is another outcrop nicknamed Ysleta del Sur that the rover studied earlier. To the far right and left is the floor of Endeavour Crater. The PANCAM instrument used three filters to capture the false-colour panorama. A few frames at bottom left are black-and-white because Opportunity did not have time to use its green and violet filters before the dust storm hit.

This small segment of the panorama shows the rock formation Opportunity was studying when it fell victim to a global dust storm last year. Image: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU