NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover was completing a 360-degree panorama of its surroundings on the inner slope of Endeavour Crater when a global dust storm silenced the spacecraft after nearly 15 years of operation on the red planet. The final panorama is made up of 354 images stitched together for a fitting farewell vista.
NASA has released the first high-resolution aerial colour image of the Opportunity rover’s landing site on a sprawling Martian plain, where the airbag-cushioned robot fortuitously rolled into a Eagle Crater in January 2004, putting its scientific instruments face-to-face with a block of sedimentary rock that gave ground teams confirmation Mars was once a warmer, wetter, and habitable planet.
Bright, frosty polar caps, and clouds above a vivid, rust-coloured landscape reveal Mars as a dynamic seasonal planet in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope view taken on 12 May 2016, when Mars was 50 million miles from Earth. The image reveals details as small as 20 to 30 miles across. On 30 May, Mars will be the closest it has been to Earth in 11 years.