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Stunning panorama of Mars reveals the final resting place of NASA's Opportunity rover – Daily Mail

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Life on Mars! Stunning panorama of the Red Planet reveals the final resting place of NASA’s Rover Opportunity before it was declared ‘dead’ earlier this year

  • NASA shared a stunning panorama of Mars, which is also the resting place of its Opportunity rover
  • The image combines a series of 354 individual pictures that were snapped over a 29-day period
  • The view is of  the Perseverance Valley, which the rover was set to explore before it was declared dead in Feb.

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A stunning panorama of Mars shows the final resting place of NASA’s Opportunity.

The image is a series of 354 individual pictures snapped by the rover over a 29-day period before it shutdown completely and declared ‘dead’ by the American space agency earlier this year.

The desolate Martian landscape known as Perseverance Valley was the last thing the rover saw and now serves as its graveyard. 

The panorama is composed of 354 individual images provided by the rover’s Panoramic Camera (Pancam) from May 13 through June 10, or sols (Martian days) 5,084 through 5,111.

The panorama combines images from three different Pancam filters, which admit light centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet).

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A stunning panorama of Mars shows the final resting place of NASA ¿s Opportunity. The image is a series of 354 individual pictures snapped by the rover over a 29-day period before it shutdown completely and declared 'dead' by the American space agency earlier this year

A stunning panorama of Mars shows the final resting place of NASA ’s Opportunity. The image is a series of 354 individual pictures snapped by the rover over a 29-day period before it shutdown completely and declared ‘dead’ by the American space agency earlier this year

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

‘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.’

‘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.’

The desolate Martian landscape known as Perseverance Valley was the last thing the rover saw and now serves as its graveyard. The panorama is composed of 354 individual images provided by the rover's Panoramic Camera (Pancam) from May 13 through June 10, or sols (Martian days) 5,084 through 5,111

The desolate Martian landscape known as Perseverance Valley was the last thing the rover saw and now serves as its graveyard. The panorama is composed of 354 individual images provided by the rover's Panoramic Camera (Pancam) from May 13 through June 10, or sols (Martian days) 5,084 through 5,111

The desolate Martian landscape known as Perseverance Valley was the last thing the rover saw and now serves as its graveyard. The panorama is composed of 354 individual images provided by the rover’s Panoramic Camera (Pancam) from May 13 through June 10, or sols (Martian days) 5,084 through 5,111

NASA explained that Opportunity was not expected to last 15 years, but noted it had contributed greatly to their understanding of the planet¿s geology and environment, ¿laying groundwork for future robotic and human missions on the Red Planet¿, the American space agency said in a statement

NASA explained that Opportunity was not expected to last 15 years, but noted it had contributed greatly to their understanding of the planet¿s geology and environment, ¿laying groundwork for future robotic and human missions on the Red Planet¿, the American space agency said in a statement

NASA explained that Opportunity was not expected to last 15 years, but noted it had contributed greatly to their understanding of the planet’s geology and environment, ‘laying groundwork for future robotic and human missions on the Red Planet’, the American space agency said in a statement

NASA explained that Opportunity was not expected to last 15 years, but noted it had contributed greatly to their understanding of the planet’s geology and environment, ‘laying groundwork for future robotic and human missions on the Red Planet’, the American space agency said in a statement.

After eight months of effort and sending more than a thousand commands in an attempt to restore contact with the rover, NASA declared Opportunity’s mission complete on Feb. 13, 2019.

With the death of the Opportunity rover also comes the end of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers program, which launched from Cape Canaveral in July 2003 with the twin robots, Spirit and Opportunity. 

Spirit met its end back in 2011, a year after getting stuck in the sand and losing contact with Earth.

After eight months of effort and sending more than a thousand commands in an attempt to restore contact with the rover, NASA declared Opportunity's mission complete on Feb. 13, 2019

After eight months of effort and sending more than a thousand commands in an attempt to restore contact with the rover, NASA declared Opportunity's mission complete on Feb. 13, 2019

After eight months of effort and sending more than a thousand commands in an attempt to restore contact with the rover, NASA declared Opportunity’s mission complete on Feb. 13, 2019

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, said during the press conference in February: ‘I’m standing here with a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude, as I declare the Opportunity mission complete – and with it the Mars exploration mission as compete.’

‘I will never forget the amazing work that happened here, it transformed our understanding of the red planet.’

The Mars rover, affectionately known as ‘Oppy,’ far surpassed the expectations of the team that’s operated it for so long.

The panorama shows a detailed view of the Perseverance Valley including the rover's tracks left behind as it traveled through the desolate landscape

The panorama shows a detailed view of the Perseverance Valley including the rover's tracks left behind as it traveled through the desolate landscape

The panorama shows a detailed view of the Perseverance Valley including the rover’s tracks left behind as it traveled through the desolate landscape

It was designed to last just 90 Martian days (90 sols), during which it would travel a total of 1,000 meters (1100 yards).

But somehow, Oppy survived 14-and-a-half years after touching down on the red planet, pushing its limits to travel almost 30 miles to reshape our understanding of Mars.

It withstood years of extreme temperatures and radiation, but finally met its match this past spring, when a planet-wide dust storm encircled Mars and blotted out the sun.

This proved to be a fatal blow for Opportunity, as the rover relies entirely on solar energy to power its instruments.

More than 1,000 recovery commands were sent over the course of eight months in a bid to revive the robotic geologist.

NASA made one final attempt to contact Opportunity Rover (pictured) eight months after the spacecraft last made contact. A giant dust storm blocked sunlight from Mars in 2018, stopping Opportunity's solar-powered batteries from being able to recharge

NASA made one final attempt to contact Opportunity Rover (pictured) eight months after the spacecraft last made contact. A giant dust storm blocked sunlight from Mars in 2018, stopping Opportunity's solar-powered batteries from being able to recharge

NASA made one final attempt to contact Opportunity Rover (pictured) eight months after the spacecraft last made contact. A giant dust storm blocked sunlight from Mars in 2018, stopping Opportunity’s solar-powered batteries from being able to recharge

WHAT DID ‘OPPY’ ACHIEVE ON MARS?

Though Opportunity was intended to last just 90 Martian sols, it survived for a staggering 14-and-a-half years. 

According to NASA, its many successes include:

  • A one-day Mars driving record March 20, 2005, when it traveled 721 feet (220 meters)
  • More than 217,000 images, including 15 360-degree color panoramas
  • Exposed the surfaces of 52 rocks to reveal fresh mineral surfaces, and cleared 72 additional targets with a brush to prepare them for inspection 
  • Found hematite, a mineral that forms in water, at its landing site
  • Discovered strong indications at Endeavor Crater of the action of ancient water similar to drinkable water of a pond or lake on Earth

 

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Manitoba company helps land Perseverance rover on Mars with high-speed camera – CBC.ca

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It’s only about the size of a loaf of bread. But a high-speed, tough-as-nails camera created by a company in Minnedosa, Man., played an instrumental role in landing NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars last week.

“You could run over it, it could fall, you could throw it out your window. That’s how tough they need to be,” Canadian Photonic Labs president Mark Wahoski said of the camera used in the monumental landing on Feb. 18.

His company, based in the southwestern Manitoba town — population around 2,500 — manufactures high-speed cameras for industrial, scientific and military markets, according to its website.

It took years to design the Perseverance camera in a way that would allow it to withstand the planet’s gravitational force — and snap images fast enough, Wahoski told host Marjorie Dowhos on CBC’s Radio Noon on Friday.

“It’s really hard to comprehend just how fast that is,” he said. “They go anywhere from normal, 30 frames per second — like your cellphone camera — all the way up to 250,000 frames per second.”

And the testing involved to make sure it’s up to the task before it gets sent into space is just as complex.

One of the simulations involved sending a metal sled with rocket engines strapped on top of it down a five-mile railroad bed in California, Wahoski said.

Another saw a helicopter lift a parachute, tied to that same rocket sled, up thousands of feet in the air before sending the sled down the track.

“On one of the tests, they determined they had to make this particular part stronger. So without those tests, the lander probably would not make it,” Wahoski said.

The Manitoba company’s relationship with NASA dates back roughly 15 years, he said — but much of the work that’s happened in that time has been cloaked in secrecy.

“A lot of it you can’t speak about…. You do the test and you do the support and you move on to the next project,” he said.

However, the attention around the Perseverance rover landing has been an exciting development, Wahoski said.

This photo provided by NASA shows the first color image sent by the Perseverance Mars rover after its landing on Feb. 18. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/The Associated Press)

Once the landing finally happened, he said he had one word to describe how he felt: awesome.

“We had to just reflect back and say, ‘Oh gee, yeah, we did some of that.'”

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NASA's Perseverance Rover Transmits to Earth from the Surface of Mars – UPI.com

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NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image during its descent to Mars, using its Descent Stage Down-Look Camera. This camera is mounted on the bottom of the descent stage and looks at the rover. This image was acquired on February 22, 2021 (Sol 1) at the local mean solar time of 10:37:31. A key objective for Perseverance’s mission on Mars is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. The rover will characterize the planet’s geology and past climate, paving the way for human exploration of the Red Planet and be the first mission to collect and cache Martian rock and regolith. NASA/UPI

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SEE IT: moon-sized fireball shot through sky over Chatham-Kent – Chatham Daily News

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Stargazers were treated to quite the show on Friday night with a giant fireball spotted in Chatham-Kent.

Peter Brown, Western University professor in the astronomy and physics department, posted on Twitter on Saturday morning that the fireball ended at approximately 30 km in height just north of Lake St. Clair near Fair Haven, Mich.

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According to the NASA website, observers in Ontario, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania reported the sighting at 10:07 p.m. EST.

“This event was captured by several all sky meteor cameras belonging to the NASA All Sky Fireball Network and the Southern Ontario Meteor Network operated by Western University,” it stated.

“A first analysis of the video data shows that the meteor appeared 90 km (56 miles) above Erieau on the northern shore of Lake Erie. It moved northwest at a speed of 105,800 kilometres per hour (65,800 miles per hour), crossing the U.S./Canada border before ablating 32 kilometres (20 miles) above Fair Haven, Mich.”

NASA stated the orbit of the object is “low inclination” and has an aphelion — defined as the point in the orbit of an object where it is farthest from the sun — near the orbit of Jupiter, and a perihelion — nearest to the sun — between the orbits of Mercury and Venus.

“It suggests that the meteor was caused by a fragment of a Jupiter family comet, though an asteroidal origin is also possible. At its brightest, the fireball rivalled the quarter moon in intensity. Combining this with the speed gives the fragment a mass of at least two kilograms and a diameter of approximately 12 centimetres (five inches).

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