Opportunity rover captured lovely panoramic images before being felled by dust storm

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But in June 2018 NASA delivered the bad news Opportunity's solar-powered batteries were failing as a planet-sized duststorm descended on Mars.

Now the Agency has published the latest pictures sent by the camera to the Ground. Since its last communication on June 10, 2018 operators sent more than a thousand commands to try and restore communications, but in February, NASA declared the mission over.

NASA has released one of the final photos taken by the Mars Opportunity rover before it went silent and perished in a planet-wide dust storm in June.

Taken over the course of 29 days, the 360-degree panorama shows what would become Opportunity's final resting spot in Perseverance Valley.

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The gallery includes the last images Opportunity obtained during its mission (black-and-white thumbnail images from the Pancam that were used to determine how opaque the sky was on its last day) and also the last piece of data the rover transmitted (a "noisy", incomplete full-frame image of a darkened sky). To them the sky was already clouded with dust, and the Sun looks like a tiny dim point approximately in the center.

This final panorama embodies what made our Opportunity rover such a remarkable mission of exploration and discovery.

'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.

Mission team members have now stitched together 354 of these images, taken from May 13 through June 10, into a gorgeous panorama of the rover's final resting place.

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'It is because of trailblazing missions such as Opportunity that there will come a day when our courageous astronauts walk on the surface of Mars, ' NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said last month. Some parts are still black and white, because Pancam didn't have time to take photos of them through the green and violet filters before the dust storm hit. It shows a number of interesting features of Perseverance Valley, in addition to the pristine, unexplored floor of Endurance Crater.

However, NASA's Mars exploration perseveres with the InSight lander, which touched down in November, now just beginning its scientific investigations and the Curiosity rover, which has been exploring Gale Crater for more than six years. But the echoes of the rover's mission to the Red Planet can still be heard.

The mission of the Opportunity rover launched in 2004, and it was supposed to last for no longer than 90 days, which means that the little rover served NASA over a decade longer than planned.

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