Ken Kremer —SpaceUpClose.com &
RocketSTEM –15 February 2019
FL – ‘Opportunity
at Perseverance Valley’ is the featured image on today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) Feb15, 2019 – the mosaic was created by the imaging team of Ken Kremer and Marco
NASA declared the Opportunity mission complete on Feb. 13 after no transmissions were received in a final try following 8 months
of dogged attempts to recontact the six wheeled robot after a historic planet
encircling dust storm hit Mars and knocked out all communications – ceasing
on June 10, 2018.
‘Opportunity at Perseverance Valley’ is a farewell view across the Martian Landscape peering
around vast Endeavour Crater – As seen through the eyes of NASA’s Opportunity MarsExploration Rover (MER) mission after 15 Years Roving the Red Planet!
‘Perseverance Valley’ is the
location where she stands for eternity. Although designed and ‘wannentied’ as a
mere 90 day mission, she actually endured and explored for over 5000 sols. That’s
more than 55 times beyond
the design lifetime of what the scientists and engineers planned.
Here is the text from today’s APOD:
Explanation: Opportunity had already reached Perseverance Valley by June of 2018. Its
view is reconstructed in a colorized mosaic of images taken by the Mars
Exploration Rover’s Navcam. In fact, Perseverance Valley is an
appropriate name for the destination. Designed for a 90 day
mission, Opportunity had traveled across Mars for over 5,000 sols (martian
solar days) following a January 2004 landing
in Eagle crater. Covering a total distance of over 45 kilometers (28 miles),
its intrepid journey of exploration across the Martian landscape has come to a
close here. On June 10, 2018, the last transmission from the solar-powered
rover was received as a dust storm engulfed
the Red Planet. Though the storm has subsided, eight months of
attempts to contact Opportunity have not been successful and its trailblazing
mission ended after almost 15 years of exploring the surface of Mars.
and operated the golf cart sized Opportunity.
last communication from the robot nicknamed ‘Oppy’ with Earth was received June
10, 2018 (Sol 5111) where she stands at Perseverance Valley – a gully carved by
flowing liquid water in ancient times along the eroded rim of giant Endeavour Crater.
Opportunity was the longest surviving robot ever to
explore the surface of Mars.
She was declareddead by NASA officials on Wednesday, Feb. 13 after conducting a record-setting
15 year mission on the Red Planet when she failed to respond to a final set of ‘Phone
Home’ sent last night from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. Read my story here.
Opportunity’s adventures, I’m including herein several of the hundreds of
Opportunity rover mosaics created by the imaging team of Ken Kremer (founder
and editor of Space UpClose) and Marco Di Lorenzo – including several more mosaics
showing the wide panoramic view from the top of Perserenance Valley. Also check
out our route map below showing the entire 15 year journey across Mars.
When the massive planet-encircling dust storm hit Opportunity had
been descending down and exploring Perseverance
Valley located along the eroded western rim of the gigantic 22-km diameter (14
mi) impact crater named Endeavour.
day the mission was declared complete, long lived Opportunity had survived or
experienced over 5350 Sols (or Martian days) roving the harsh environment of
the Red Planet.
Opportunity has taken over
228,771 images and traversed over 28.06 miles (45.16 kilometers) – more than a marathon.
Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA,
Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Orbital ATK and more space and mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and
Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia.
Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing Earth and Planetary science and human
spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com
–www.spaceupclose.com – twitter @ken_kremer – email: ken at kenkremer.com
Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the
KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed on TV and radio about space topics.
Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events
Apr 3: “Exploring
Mars; The Search for Life & A Journey in 3-D.” 7 PM, Lawton C
Johnson Middle School, Summit, NJ. Open to the public. Details upcoming.
Latest results from Mars & Ultima Thule