Opportunity (rover)

Opportunity, also known as MER-B (Mars Exploration Rover – B) or MER-1, and nicknamed "Oppy",[8][9] is a robotic rover that was active on Mars from 2004 to late 2018.[2] Launched on July 7, 2003, as part of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover program, it landed in Meridiani Planum on January 25, 2004, three weeks after its twin Spirit (MER-A) touched down on the other side of the planet.[10] With a planned 90-sol duration of activity (slightly more than 90 Earth days), Spirit functioned until it got stuck in 2009 and ceased communications in 2010, while Opportunity was able to stay operational for 5111 sols after landing, maintaining its power and key systems through continual recharging of its batteries using solar power, and hibernating during events such as dust storms to save power. This careful operation allowed Opportunity to exceed its operating plan by 14 years, 46 days (in Earth time), 55 times its designed lifespan. By June 10, 2018, when it last contacted NASA,[11][12] the rover had traveled a distance of 45.16 kilometers (28.06 miles).[7]

Mission highlights included the initial 90-sol mission, finding extramartian meteorites such as Heat Shield Rock (Meridiani Planum meteorite), and over two years of exploring and studying Victoria crater. The rover survived moderate dust storms and in 2011 reached Endeavour crater, which has been described as a "second landing site".[13] The Opportunity mission is considered one of NASA's most successful ventures.[14]

Due to the planetary 2018 dust storm on Mars, Opportunity ceased communications on June 10 and entered hibernation on June 12, 2018. It was hoped it would reboot once the weather cleared,[15] but it did not, suggesting either a catastrophic failure or that a layer of dust had covered its solar panels. NASA hoped to re-establish contact with the rover, citing a windy period that could potentially clean off its solar panels.[16] On February 13, 2019, NASA officials declared that the Opportunity mission was complete, after the spacecraft had failed to respond to over 1,000 signals sent since August 2018.[17]

Opportunity
NASA Mars Rover
An artist's portrayal of Opportunity on the surface of Mars.
Mission typeMars rover
OperatorNASA
COSPAR ID2003-032A
WebsiteJPL's Mars Exploration Rover
Mission durationPlanned: 90 sols (92.5 Earth days)
Final: 5,352 sols (5498 Earth days from landing to mission end; 15 Earth years or 8 Martian years)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeRover
Launch massTotal: 1,063 kg
rover: 185 kg
lander: 348 kg
backshell/parachute: 209 kg
heat shield: 78 kg
Cruise Stage: 193 kg
propellant: 50 kg[1]
Start of mission
Launch dateJuly 7, 2003, 03:18 UTC[2][1]
RocketDelta II 7925H-9.5[1][3][4]
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-17B
ContractorBoeing
End of mission
DeclaredFebruary 13, 2019[5]
Last contactJune 10, 2018[5]
Mars rover
Landing dateJanuary 25, 2004,[2] 05:05 UTC SCET
MSD 46236 14:35 AMT
Landing site1°56′46″S 354°28′24″E / 1.9462°S 354.4734°E[6]
Distance covered45.16 km (28.06 mi)[7]
Nasa mer daffy

The launch patch for Opportunity, featuring Duck Dodgers (Daffy Duck)
 

Mission overview

PIA22222-Mars-OpportunityRover-FirstSelfie-20180220
Opportunity's first self-portrait on Mars
(February 14–20, 2018 / sols 4998−5004)

Collectively, the Opportunity and Spirit rovers were part of the Mars Exploration Rover program in the long-term Mars Exploration Program. The Mars Exploration Program's four principal goals were to determine if the potential for life exists on Mars (in particular, whether recoverable water may be found on Mars), to characterize the Mars climate and its geology, and then to prepare for a potential human mission to Mars. The Mars Exploration Rovers were to travel across the Martian surface and perform periodic geologic analyses to determine if water ever existed on Mars as well as the types of minerals available, as well as to corroborate data taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.[18] Spirit and Opportunity were launched a month apart, on June 10 and July 7, 2003, and both reached the Martian surface by January 2004. Both rovers were designed with an expected 90 sols (92 Earth days) lifetime, but each lasted much longer than expected. Spirit's mission lasted 20 times longer than its expected lifetime, and its mission was declared ended on May 25, 2011, after it got stuck in soft soil and expended its power reserves trying to free itself. Opportunity lasted 55 times longer than its 90 sol planned lifetime, operating for 5498 days from landing to mission end. An archive of weekly updates on the rover's status can be found at the Opportunity Update Archive.[19]

MOLA opportunity
Opportunity's landing site (denoted with a star)

From its initial landing, by chance, into an impact crater amidst an otherwise generally flat plain, Opportunity successfully investigated soil and rock samples and took panoramic photos of its landing site. Its sampling allowed NASA scientists to make hypotheses concerning the presence of hematite and past presence of water on the surface of Mars.[20] Following this, it was directed to travel across the surface of Mars to investigate another crater site, Endurance crater, which it investigated from June to December 2004. Subsequently, Opportunity examined the impact site of its own heat shield and discovered an intact meteorite, now known as Heat Shield Rock, on the surface of Mars.

From late April to early June 2005, Opportunity was perilously lodged in a sand dune, with several wheels buried in the sand. Over a six-week period, Earth-based physical simulations were performed to decide how best to extract the rover from its position without risking its permanent immobilization. Successful maneuvering a few centimeters at a time eventually freed the rover, which resumed its travels.

Opportunity was directed to proceed in a southerly direction to Erebus crater, a large, shallow, partially buried crater and a stopover on the way south towards Victoria crater, between October 2005 and March 2006. It experienced some mechanical problems with its robotic arm.

In late September 2006, Opportunity reached Victoria crater and explored along the rim in a clockwise direction. In June 2007 it returned to Duck Bay, its original arrival point; in September 2007 it entered the crater to begin a detailed study. In August 2008, Opportunity left Victoria crater for Endeavour crater, which it reached on August 9, 2011.[21]

Here at the rim of the Endeavour crater, the rover moved around a geographic feature named Cape York. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had detected phyllosilicates there, and the rover analyzed the rocks with its instruments to check this sighting on the ground. This structure was analyzed in depth until summer 2013. In May 2013 the rover was heading south to a hill named Solander Point.

Opportunity rover lifetime progress map
Lifetime progress map with Washington, D.C. overlay for size and distance comparison

Opportunity's total odometry by June 10, 2018 (sol 5111), was 45.16 km (28.06 mi), while the dust factor was 10.8.[22] Since January 2013, the solar array dust factor (one of the determinants of solar power production) varied from a relatively dusty 0.467 on December 5, 2013 (sol 3507), to a relatively clean 0.964 on May 13, 2014 (sol 3662).[23]

In December 2014, NASA reported that Opportunity was suffering from "amnesia" events in which the rover failed to write data, e.g. telemetry information, to non-volatile memory. The hardware failure was believed to be due to an age-related fault in one of the rover's seven memory banks. As a result, NASA had aimed to force the rover's software to ignore the failed memory bank;[24] amnesia events continued to occur, however, which eventually resulted in vehicle resets. In light of this, on Sol 4027 (May 23, 2015), the rover was configured to operate in RAM-only mode, completely avoiding the use of non-volatile memory for storage.[25]

End of mission

Mars Opportunity tau watt-hours graph

In early June 2018, a large planetary-scale dust storm developed, and within a few days the rover's solar panels were not generating enough power to maintain communications, with the last contact on June 10, 2018.[5] NASA stated that they did not expect to resume communication until after the storm subsided,[26] but the rover kept silent even after the storm ended in early October,[26] suggesting either a catastrophic failure or a layer of dust covering its solar panels.[27] The team remained hopeful that a windy period between November 2018 and January 2019 might clear the dust from its solar panels, as had happened before.[27] Wind was detected nearby on January 8, and on January 26 the mission team announced a plan to begin broadcasting a new set of commands to the rover in case its radio receiver failed.[28]

On February 12, 2019,[29] past and present members of the mission team gathered in JPL's Space Flight Operations Facility to watch final commands being transmitted to Opportunity via the 70 meter dish of the Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California. Following 25 minutes of transmission of the final 4 sets of commands, communication attempts with the rover were handed off to Canberra, Australia.

More than 835 recovery commands were transmitted since losing signal in June 2018 to the end of January 2019 with over 1000 recovery commands transmitted before February 13, 2019.[17][30][31] NASA officials held a press conference on February 13 to declare an official end to the mission. NASA associate administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said, "It is therefore that I am standing here with a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude that I declare the Opportunity mission is complete."[32] As NASA ended their attempts to contact the rover, the last data sent was the song "I'll Be Seeing You" performed by Billie Holiday.[33]

The final communication from the rover came on June 10, 2018 (sol 5111) from Perseverance Valley,[17] and indicated a solar array energy of 22 Wh, and the highest atmospheric opacity (tau) ever measured on Mars: 10.8.[34][35]

Mars dust stormoptical depth tau – May to September 2018
(Mars Climate Sounder; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter)
(1:38; animation; October 30, 2018; file description
Opportunity solar array energy production (2018 dust storm)
Date Watt-hours[26]
Sol 5079 (May 8, 2018)
667
Sol 5100 (May 29, 2018)
652
Sol 5105 (June 3, 2018)
468
Sol 5106 (June 4, 2018)
345
Sol 5107 (June 6, 2018)
133
Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018)
22

Objectives

View looking west on to Perseverance Valley on the western rim of Endeavour crater laid over 3-D topographic map of the terrain with 5-fold vertical exaggeration
HiRise image from MRO, was laid over 3-D topographic map of the terrain, with 5-fold vertical exaggeration; view looking west on to Perseverance Valley on the western rim of Endeavour crater (February 15, 2018)[36]

The scientific objectives of the Mars Exploration Rover mission were to:[37]

  • Search for and characterize a variety of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity. In particular, samples sought include those that have minerals deposited by water-related processes such as precipitation, evaporation, sedimentary cementation or hydrothermal activity.
  • Determine the distribution and composition of minerals, rocks, and soils surrounding the landing sites.
  • Determine what geologic processes have shaped the local terrain and influenced the chemistry. Such processes could include water or wind erosion, sedimentation, hydrothermal mechanisms, volcanism, and cratering.
  • Perform calibration and validation of surface observations made by Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter instruments. This will help determine the accuracy and effectiveness of various instruments that survey Martian geology from orbit.
  • Search for iron-containing minerals, identify and quantify relative amounts of specific mineral types that contain water or were formed in water, such as iron-bearing carbonates.
  • Characterize the mineralogy and textures of rocks and soils and determine the processes that created them.
  • Search for geological clues to the environmental conditions that existed when liquid water was present.
  • Assess whether those environments were conducive to life.

During the next two decades, NASA will continue to conduct missions with other spacecraft to address whether life ever arose on Mars. The search begins with determining whether the Martian environment was ever suitable for life. Life, as we understand it, requires water, so the history of water on Mars is critical to finding out if the Martian environment was ever conducive to life. Although the Mars Exploration Rovers did not have the ability to detect life directly, they offered very important information on the habitability of the environment in the planet's history.

Design and construction

MER Pancam
Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA)

Spirit and Opportunity are twin rovers, each a six-wheeled, solar-powered robot standing 1.5 meters (4.9 ft) high, 2.3 meters (7.5 ft) wide, and 1.6 meters (5.2 ft) long and weighing 180 kilograms (400 lb). Six wheels on a rocker-bogie system enable mobility. Each wheel has its own motor, the vehicle is steered at front and rear and was designed to operate safely at tilts of up to 30 degrees. Maximum speed is 5 centimeters per second (2.0 in/s) although average speed was about a fifth of this (0.89 centimeters per second (0.35 in/s)). Both Spirit and Opportunity have pieces of the fallen World Trade Center's metal on them that were "turned into shields to protect cables on the drilling mechanisms".[38][39]

Solar arrays generate about 140 watts for up to fourteen hours per sol, while rechargeable lithium ion batteries stored energy for use at night. Opportunity's onboard computer uses a 20 MHz RAD6000 CPU with 128 MB of DRAM, 3 MB of EEPROM, and 256 MB of flash memory. The rover's operating temperature ranges from −40 to +40 °C (−40 to 104 °F) and radioisotope heaters provide a base level of heating, assisted by electrical heaters when necessary.[40] A gold film and a layer of silica aerogel provides insulation.

Communications depend on an omnidirectional low-gain antenna communicating at a low data rate and a steerable high-gain antenna, both in direct contact with Earth. A low gain antenna is also used to relay data to spacecraft orbiting Mars.

Fixed science/engineering instruments included:

The rover arm holds the following instruments:

  • Mössbauer spectrometer (MB) MIMOS II – used for close-up investigations of the mineralogy of iron-bearing rocks and soils.
  • Alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) – close-up analysis of the abundances of elements that make up rocks and soils.
  • Magnets – for collecting magnetic dust particles
  • Microscopic Imager (MI) – obtains close-up, high-resolution images of rocks and soils.
  • Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) – exposes fresh material for examination by instruments on board.

The cameras produce 1024-pixel by 1024-pixel images, the data is compressed with ICER, stored, and transmitted later.

The rover's name was chosen through a NASA sponsored student essay competition.

Opportunity was 'driven' by several operators throughout its mission, including JPL roboticist Vandi Verma who also cowrote the PLEXIL command language used in its software.[41]

Power

Navigation Camera Sol 4959 of the MER-B Opportunity rover on Mars
MER-B NavCam image Sol 4959[42] Start of January 2018, looking along rim of Endeavour crater

The rover uses a combination of solar cells and a rechargeable chemical battery.[43] This class of rover has two rechargeable lithium batteries, each composed of 8 cells with 8 amp-hour capacity.[44] At the start of the mission the solar panels could provide up to around 900 watt-hours (Wh) to recharge the battery and power system in one Sol, but this could vary due to a variety of factors.[43] In Eagle crater the cells were producing about 840 Wh, but by Sol 319 in December 2004, it had dropped to 730 Wh.[45]

Like Earth, Mars has seasonal variations that reduce sunlight during winter. However, since the Martian year is longer than that of the Earth, the seasons fully rotate roughly once every 2 Earth years.[46] By 2016, MER-B had endured seven Martian winters, during which times power levels drop which can mean the rover avoids doing activities that use a lot of power.[46] During its first winter power levels dropped to under 300 Wh per day for two months, but some later winters were not as bad.[46]

Another factor that can reduce received power is dust in the atmosphere, especially dust storms.[47] Dust storms have occurred quite frequently when Mars is closest to the Sun.[47] Global dust storms in 2007 reduced power levels for Opportunity and Spirit so much they could only run for a few minutes each day.[47] Due to the 2018 dust storms on Mars, Opportunity entered hibernation mode on June 12,[48][49] but it remained silent after the storm subsided in early October.[26]

Examples

Examples of watt-hours per sol collected by the rover:[50]

Launch

Mer-b-final-launch
Delta II Heavy (7925H-9.5) lifting off from pad 17-B carrying MER-B in 2003 with Opportunity rover

Opportunity's launch was managed by NASA's Launch Services Program. This was the first launch of the Delta II Heavy. The launch period went from June 25 to July 15, 2003. The first launch attempt occurred on June 28, 2003, but the spacecraft launched nine days later on July 7, 2003, due to delays for range safety and winds, then later to replace items on the rocket (insulation and a battery). Each day had two instantaneous launch opportunities. On the day of launch, the launch was delayed to the second opportunity (11:18 p.m. EDT) in order to fix a valve.[51]

Animation of Opportunity trajectory
Animation of Opportunity trajectory from 2003-Jul-09 to 2004-Jan-25
   Sun ·    Earth ·    Mars ·    Opportunity

Landing

Meridianicropped
Annotated elevation map of Opportunity landing site and some surrounding craters including Endeavour and Airy
PIA05229 label
Mars Global Surveyor orbiter's photograph of landing site showing "hole in one." (See also: simulation of Opportunity's trajectory on arrival at Mars in January 2004).

On January 25, 2004, the airbag-protected landing craft settled onto the surface of Mars in the Eagle crater.

Heat shield impact site

In late December 2004, Opportunity reached the impact site of its heat shield, and took a panorama around Sol 325.[52]

Area around the heat shield, including the resulting shield impact point. The heat shield was released before the rover landed and struck the surface on its own, and the rover later drove to the impact site. Near this location it discovered the first meteorite found on Mars, Heat Shield Rock
Area around the heat shield, including the resulting shield impact point. The heat shield was released before the rover landed and struck the surface on its own, and the rover later drove to the impact site. Near this location it discovered the first meteorite found on Mars, Heat Shield Rock

Scientific findings

PIA07269-Mars Rover Opportunity-Iron Meteorite
Heat Shield Rock turned out to be the first meteorite discovered on Mars

Opportunity has provided substantial evidence in support of the mission's primary scientific goals: to search for and characterize a wide range of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity on Mars. In addition to investigating the water, Opportunity has also obtained astronomical observations and atmospheric data.

Honors

Honoring Opportunity's great contribution to the exploration of Mars, an asteroid was named Opportunity: 39382 Opportunity.[53] The name was proposed by Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld who, along with Cornelis Johannes van Houten and Tom Gehrels, discovered the asteroid on September 24, 1960. Opportunity's lander is Challenger Memorial Station.[54]

On July 28, 2014, it was announced that Opportunity, having traversed over 40 km (25 mi), had become the rover achieving the longest off-world distance, surpassing the previous record of 39 km (24 mi) on the Moon by Lunokhod 2.[55][56]

On March 24, 2015, NASA celebrated Opportunity having traveled the distance of a marathon race, 42.195 kilometers (26.219 mi), from the start of Opportunity's landing and traveling on Mars.[57]

Superlatives

Steepest slope
Mars-rover-opportunity-solar-panel-PIA20329
In March 2016, while trying to reach target on the slope of Marathon Valley in Cape Tribulation, the Mars rover attained a slope of 32 degrees, the highest angle yet for the rover since its mission began. This was so steep that dust that had accumulated on its top panels began to flow downward.[58]
Highest elevation
Opportunity's view from the top of Cape Tribulation on the rim of Endeavour Crater, January 22, 2015.
Opportunity's view from the top of Cape Tribulation on the rim of Endeavour Crater, January 22, 2015.

On Sol 3894 (January 6, 2015), Opportunity reached the summit of "Cape Tribulation," which is 443 feet (135 m) above "Botany Bay" level and the highest point yet reached by the rover on western rim of Endeavour Crater according to NASA.[26]

Driving distance
Driving Distances on Mars and the Moon
Opportunity rover "off-world" driving distance record, compared to other rovers[55][56]

Images

The rover could take pictures with its different cameras, but only the PanCam camera had the ability to photograph a scene with different color filters. The panorama views are usually built up from PanCam images. By February 3, 2018, Opportunity had returned 224,642 pictures.[59][60]

Views

Challenger Memorial Station At Meridiani Planum

Opportunity images the empty lander, the Challenger Memorial Station

Pia16128-640-MatijevicHill-EnduranceCrater-20120928

Pancam view from August 2012 (Sol 3058)

Pia17271 sol3355-rearhaz 3

Solander Point is visible on the horizon; foreground shows Botany Bay[61]

Opportunity in Endurance Crater (cropped)

Opportunity in Endurance crater (simulated view based on actual imagery)

PIA22928-MarsOpportunityRover-BackTrackView-20100804

BackTrack view (August 2010)

Panoramas

A selection of panoramas from the mission:

Panorama of Fram crater (Sol 88, April 23, 2004)
Panorama of Fram crater (Sol 88, April 23, 2004)
Panorama of Naturaliste crater, in foreground (March 1, 2005)
Panorama of Naturaliste crater, in foreground (March 1, 2005)
Panorama taken on the rim of Erebus crater. The rover's solar panels are seen on the lower half (December 5, 2005).
Panorama taken on the rim of Erebus crater. The rover's solar panels are seen on the lower half (December 5, 2005).
Panorama of the rim of Endeavour crater from Cape Tribulation (January 22, 2015)
Panorama of the rim of Endeavour crater from Cape Tribulation (January 22, 2015)
Panorama of Spirit of St. Louis crater, a shallow crater about 34 meters (110 ft) long and 24 meters (80 ft) across. In its center is Lindbergh Mound, about 2 to 3 meters (6 to 10 ft) high. (annotated; false color; May 2015).
Panorama of Spirit of St. Louis crater, a shallow crater about 34 meters (110 ft) long and 24 meters (80 ft) across. In its center is Lindbergh Mound, about 2 to 3 meters (6 to 10 ft) high. (annotated; false color; May 2015).[62]
Panorama of Orion crater (enhanced color; April 26, 2017)
Panorama of Orion crater (enhanced color; April 26, 2017)[63]
Opportunity looks north as it departs Cape Tribulation, its southern end shown here (April 2017)
Opportunity looks north as it departs Cape Tribulation, its southern end shown here (April 2017)[64]
Panorama above Perseverance Valley (June 19, 2017)
Panorama above Perseverance Valley (June 19, 2017)
Final panorama image taken by Opportunity between May and June 2018 prior to being disabled by the dust storms.
Final panorama image taken by Opportunity between May and June 2018 prior to being disabled by the dust storms.

Microscopic images

Blueberries eagle

"Blueberries" (hematite spheres) on a rocky outcrop at Eagle Crater. Note the merged triplet in the upper left.[20]

PIA16139 Puzzling Little Martian Spheres That Don't Taste Like 'Blueberries'

"Newberries": This view displays an area about 6 centimeters across. It was taken at an outcrop named "Kirkwood" at the Cape York on the rim of Endeavour crater on Mars. The spheres seen here are about 3 millimeters in diameter. The Microscopic Imager took this image at the 3064 sol.

From orbit

Oppland02a

Opportunity landing site, lander, as imaged by MRO
(November 29, 2006)

Opportunity landing site4

Opportunity landing site, parachute and backshell, as imaged by MRO (November 29, 2006)

Oppland03a

Opportunity landing site, heat shield, as imaged by MRO
(November 29, 2006)

Opportunity Rover by HiRISE

Opportunity (circled) as seen by HiRISE on January 29, 2009. Endeavour Crater is 17 km (11 mi) away.

Area maps

Opportunity rover's landing site

Opportunity landing ellipse in Meridiani Planum, near Endeavour crater

PIA13708westernrimgeo

This geological map created from MRO's CRISM instrument data from orbit gives an overview of some of the geology in the area MER-B is exploring

Meridiani Planum PIA13704
This map, color-coded for minerals (CRISM) and annotated, shows the rover's traverse up to about 2010 with some nearby features noted.

Traverse maps

An example of a rover traverse map featuring a line showing path of the rover, and mission sols, which are Mars days counted from its landing and typical of Mars surface mission time reporting. Topographic lines and various feature names are also common

MERB Sol2710 1merbarrives
Opportunity arrives at Endeavour crater
MERB 528 2

Opportunity traverse map, from Sol 405 to 528 (2005)

MERB Sol2055 1

Opportunity traverse map, from sol 1 (2004) through sol 2055 (2009)

MERB Sol2442 PIA13598 br

Annotated Opportunity traverse map as of December 8, 2010 (Sol 2442)

Sol3689

Annotated Opportunity traverse map as of June 11, 2014 (Sol 3689)

CapeYork-Map-2014

Opportunity's traverse on Cape York from Sol 2678 to Sol 3317 with some additional annotations of the main features.

Traverse map up to 4836 (September 12, 2017)
Traverse map up to 4836 (September 12, 2017)[65]

Legacy

NASA-MarsOpportunityRover-LastImage-PanCam-Sol5111-20180610
Opportunity rover ‒ last image[66]
(of 228,771 raw images ‒ June 10, 2018)[67]

With word on February 12, 2019, that NASA was likely to conclude the Opportunity mission, many media outsides and commentators issued statements praising the mission's success and stating their goodbyes to the rover. One journalist, Jacob Margolis, tweeted his translation of the last data transmission sent by Opportunity on June 10, 2018, as "My battery is low and it’s getting dark". The phrase struck a chord with the public mind and became widely reported, including some news reports that mistakenly asserted that the rover sent that English message, inundating NASA with additional questions. Margolis wrote a clarifying article on February 16, making it clear he had taken statements from NASA officials who were interpreting the data sent by Opportunity, both on the state of its low power and Mars's high atmospheric opacity, and rephrased them in a poetic manner, never to imply the rover had sent the specific words.[68][69]

22341 PIA22908-MarsOpportunityRover-LastPanorama-Spring2018-20190312
Opportunity rover – last panorama image – taken Spring 2018 (uploaded March 12, 2019)

See also

References

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  2. ^ a b c Nelson, Jon. "Mars Exploration Rover – Opportunity". NASA. Archived from the original on January 24, 2014. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
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  4. ^ McDowell, Jonathan (July 15, 2003). "Jonathan's Space Report No. 504". Jonathan's Space Report. Archived from the original on August 26, 2009. Retrieved April 28, 2009.
  5. ^ a b c Agle, D.C.; Brown, Dwayne; Wendel, JoAnna (February 13, 2019). "NASA's Opportunity Rover Mission on Mars Comes to End". NASA. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  6. ^ Staff. "Mapping the Mars Rovers' Landing Sites". Esri. Archived from the original on May 4, 2014. Retrieved May 4, 2014.
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  9. ^ "Opportunity Memories | NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory". www.jpl.nasa.gov. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  10. ^ Spirit landed on January 4, 2004.
  11. ^ Malik, T. (June 21, 2018). "Mars Dust Storm 2018: How It Grew & What It Means for the Opportunity Rover". space.com. Future.plc. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Rayl, A.J.S. (August 1, 2018). "The Mars Exploration Rovers Update: Dust Storm Wanes, Opportunity Sleeps, Team Prepares Recovery Strategy". planetary.org. Planetary Society. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  13. ^ "Opportunity on verge of new discovery". wustl.edu. Archived from the original on September 24, 2011. Retrieved September 17, 2011.
  14. ^ Amos, Jonathan (February 13, 2019). "Nasa calls time on silent Opportunity Mars rover". BBC. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  15. ^ Greicius, Tony (September 24, 2018). "Opportunity Emerges in a Dusty Picture". NASA. Archived from the original on October 15, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  16. ^ Greicius, Tony (August 30, 2018). "Update on Opportunity Rover Recovery Efforts". NASA. Archived from the original on November 3, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  17. ^ a b c "NASA's Opportunity Rover Mission on Mars Comes to End". NASA. February 13, 2019. Retrieved February 13, 2019.
  18. ^ "The scientific objectives of the Mars Exploration Rover". marsrovers.nasa.gov. Retrieved 2015-05-25.
  19. ^ "Opportunity Update Archive". NASA/JPL. Archived from the original on May 7, 2009. Retrieved May 4, 2009.
  20. ^ a b Dvorsky, George (15 February 2019). "The Enduring Mystery of the Martian 'Blueberries' Discovered by Opportunity Rover". Gizmodo. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  21. ^ "NASA – NASA Mars Rover Arrives at New Site on Martian Surface". Nasa.gov. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2012.
  22. ^ "Mars Exploration Rover Mission: All Opportunity Updates". nasa.gov. Archived from the original on August 30, 2015. Retrieved January 5, 2017.
  23. ^ "Opportunity Updates". Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved November 20, 2014.
  24. ^ O'Neill, Ian (December 29, 2014). "Mars Rover Opportunity Suffers Worrying Bouts of 'Amnesia'". Web article. Discovery News. Archived from the original on December 30, 2014. Retrieved December 31, 2014.
  25. ^ "Opportunity Update Archive, sols 4024–4029, May 20, 2015–May 25, 2015". Archived from the original on August 30, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  26. ^ a b c d e "Mars Exploration Rover Mission: All Opportunity Updates". mars.nasa.gov. Archived from the original on March 25, 2018. Retrieved February 10, 2018.
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External links

NASA links

MSSS and WUSTL links

Other links

Acidalia PlanitiaAcidalia PlanitiaAlba MonsAmazonis PlanitiaAonia TerraArabia TerraArcadia PlanitiaArcadia PlanitiaArgyre PlanitiaElysium MonsElysium PlanitiaHellas PlanitiaHesperia PlanumIsidis PlanitiaLucas PlanumLyot CraterNoachis TerraOlympus MonsPromethei TerraRudaux CraterSolis PlanumTempe TerraTerra CimmeriaTerra SabaeaTerra SirenumTharsis MontesUtopia PlanitiaValles MarinerisVastitas BorealisVastitas BorealisMap of Mars
The image above contains clickable linksInteractive imagemap of the global topography of Mars, overlain with locations of Mars landers and rovers. Hover your mouse to see the names of over 25 prominent geographic features, and click to link to them. Coloring of the base map indicates relative elevations, based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. Whites and browns indicate the highest elevations (+12 to +8 km); followed by reds and pinks (+3 to +8 km); yellow is 0 km; greens and blues are lower elevation (down to −8 km). Axes are latitude and longitude; Poles are not shown.
(See also: Mars map, Mars Memorials, Mars Memorials map) (view • discuss)
(   Rover  Lander  Future )
Argo (crater)

Argo is a crater in the Meridiani Planum on Mars, which was visited by the Opportunity rover on approximately its 365th Martian sol. The crater is about 300 meters (980 ft) south of the heat shield and Heat Shield Rock.

Beagle (crater)

Beagle is a crater lying within the Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle (MC-19) portion of the planet Mars, the crater is one of multiple topographical depressions within the Meridiani Planum extraterrestrial plain, which was explored by the Opportunity rover. It was located by the rover in images taken on sol 855 (June 20, 2006), 310 metres (1,107 ft) away. It is on the edge of the much larger ejecta blanket surrounding the crater Victoria, named the Victoria Annulus. This impact crater was named in honor of HMS Beagle of the Royal Navy, ordered in February 1817.

Block Island meteorite

Block Island meteorite was found on Mars by the Opportunity rover on July 17, 2009. It is about 67 centimetres (26 in) across.

Composition of Mars

The composition of Mars covers the branch of the geology of Mars that describes the make-up of the planet Mars.

Eagle (Meridiani Planum crater)

Eagle is a 22-metre long impact crater located on the Meridiani Planum extraterrestrial plain, situated within the Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle (MC-19) portion of the planet Mars. The Opportunity rover came to rest inside Eagle crater when it landed in 2004. Scientists were delighted that the rover landed there, as the crater contains rocky outcroppings that helped prove that Meridiani was once an ocean floor.

This crater should not be confused with the other, much larger Martian crater Eagle, which was officially named by IAU's Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature in 1976.

Emma Dean (crater)

Emma Dean is a small impact crater in the Meridiani Planum extraterrestrial plain situated within the Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle (MC-19) region of the planet Mars. This geological feature was visited by the Opportunity rover from sols 929 to 943. The much larger crater Victoria lies about 100m to the east.

Emma Dean lies directly on top of the ejecta blanket from Victoria and could therefore expose material originating from deep inside Victoria.

The crater is named after Emma Dean, John Wesley Powell's wife and one of the boats in Grand Canyon Powell expedition.

Endurance (crater)

Endurance is an impact crater lying situated within the Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle (MC-19) region of the planet Mars. This crater was visited by the Opportunity rover from May until December 2004. Mission scientists named the crater after the ship Endurance that sailed to the Antarctic through the Weddell Sea during the ill-fated 1914-1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, considered to be the last expedition of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration organized by Ernest Shackleton.

The rover entered the crater interior on its 134th mission sol (June 15), and exited on the 315th sol (December 14). During this time it traversed various obstacles, steep inclines, and overcame large wheel slippage when driving over fine sand.

Erebus (crater)

Erebus is a crater lying situated within the Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle (MC-19) region of the planet Mars, this extraterrestrial geological feature was visited by the Opportunity rover on the way to the much larger crater Victoria. It is named after the polar exploration vessel HMS Erebus which was used by James Clark Ross in 1841 to discover the Great Ice Barrier, now known as the Ross Ice Shelf. The rover was in the immediate vicinity of the crater from approximately sol 550 to 750 (October 2005 to March 2006).

This crater features two other minor named outcrops on the edges of this topographical depression. These include Payson Ridge and Olympia Ridge (see gallery below).

Erebus is located roughly 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) south of the much smaller crater Vostok, which was previously visited by Opportunity. It is surrounded by what scientists are describing as "etched terrain", a region where rocks peek out from under the sand of Meridiani Planum.Erebus is about 350 metres (1,150 ft) wide, twice as large as the crater Endurance. However, it is very old and eroded, and is barely visible from the ground; it appears merely as a number of flat rocky outcrops encircling a region of dunes.

I'll Be Seeing You (song)

"I'll Be Seeing You" is a popular song about nostalgia, with music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Irving Kahal. Published in 1938, it was inserted into the Broadway musical Right This Way, which closed after fifteen performances.The resemblance between the main tune's first four lines and a passage within the theme of the last movement of Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony (1896) was pointed out by Deryck Cooke in 1970. Billie Holiday's 1944 recording of the song was the final bit of data sent by NASA to the Opportunity rover on Mars when its mission ended on 13 February 2019.

List of rocks on Mars

This is an alphabetical list of named rocks (and meteorites) found on Mars, by mission. This list does not include Martian meteorites found on Earth.

Names for Mars rocks are largely unofficial designations used for ease of discussion purposes, as the International Astronomical Union's official Martian naming system declares that objects smaller than 100 m (330 ft) are not to be given official names. Because of this, some less significant rocks seen in photos returned by Mars rovers have been named more than once, and others have even had their names changed later due to conflicts or even matters of opinion. Often rocks are named after the children or family members of astronauts or NASA employees. The name Jazzy, for example, was taken from a girl named Jazzy who grew up in Grand Junction, CO, USA. Her father worked for NASA and contributed to the findings and naming of the rocks.

List of surface features of Mars imaged by Opportunity

The following is a list of surface features of Mars imaged by the Opportunity rover. Opportunity landed in Meridiani Planum in 2004. (See also Opportunity mission timeline)

Mackinac Island meteorite

Mackinac Island meteorite was found on Mars by the Opportunity rover on October 13, 2009.

Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle

The Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle is one of a series of 30 quadrangle maps of Mars used by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Research Program. The Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle is also referred to as MC-19 (Mars Chart-19). The Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle covers the area from 0° to 45° west longitude and 0° to 30° south latitude on Mars. Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle contains Margaritifer Terra and parts of Xanthe Terra, Noachis Terra, Arabia Terra, and Meridiani Planum.

The name of this quadrangle means "pearl bay" after the pearl coast at Cape Comorin in South India.

This quadrangle shows many signs of past water with evidence of lakes, deltas, ancient rivers, inverted channels, and chaos regions that released water. Margaritifer Sinus contains some of the longest lake-chain systems on Mars, perhaps because of a wetter climate, more groundwater, or some of each factor. The Samara/Himera lake-chain system is about 1800 km long; the Parara/Loire valley network and lake-chain system is about 1100 km long. A low area between Parana Valles and Loire Vallis is believed to have once held a lake. The 154 km diameter Holden Crater also once held a lake. Near Holden Crater is a graben, called Erythraea Fossa, that once held a chain of three lakes.This region contains abundant clay-bearing sediments of Noachian age. Spectral studies with CRISM showed Fe/Mg-phyllosilicates, a type of clay. Biological materials can be preserved in clay. It is believed that this clay was formed in near-neutral pH water. The clay was not mixed with sulfates which form under acid conditions. Life is probably more likely to form under neutral pH conditions.This region of Mars is famous because the Opportunity Rover landed there on January 25, 2004, at 1.94°S and 354.47°E (5.53° W). NASA declared the mission over in a press conference on February 13, 2019. This mission lasted almost 15 years.

Russia's Mars 6 crash-landed in Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle at 23.9 S and 19.42 W.

Matijevic Hill

Matijevic Hill, named after American NASA engineer Jacob "Jake" Matijevic (1947 - 2012), is a hill located on "Cape York", itself on the western rim of Endeavour Crater lying within the Margaritifer Sinus quadrangle (MC-19) region of the planet Mars. It was discovered by the Opportunity rover, and named by NASA on September 28, 2012. The "approximate" site coordinates are: 2.22923°S 5.35068°W / -2.22923; -5.35068.

The hill includes a rock outcrop called Kirkwood, where Opportunity found a concentration of small spherical features. It also includes an area where clay minerals have been detected from orbiter observations.

Meridiani Planum

Meridiani Planum is a plain located 2 degrees south of Mars's equator (centered at 0.2°N 357.5°E / 0.2; 357.5), in the westernmost portion of Terra Meridiani. It hosts a rare occurrence of gray crystalline hematite. On Earth, hematite is often formed in hot springs or in standing pools of water; therefore, many scientists believe that the hematite at Meridiani Planum may be indicative of ancient hot springs or that the environment contained liquid water. The hematite is part of a layered sedimentary rock formation about 200 to 800 meters thick. Other features of Meridiani Planum include volcanic basalt and impact craters.

Meridiani Planum was chosen as the landing site for the spacecraft landings of MER-B and the ExoMars EDM, the flat terrain, low-elevation, and relative lack of rocks and craters have made it favored location. This region also contains Challenger Memorial Station.

Oileán Ruaidh (Mars rock)

Oileán Ruaidh (pronounced "ill-lawn roo-ah") is a rock discovered on Mars in September 2010 by the Opportunity rover. It is a 45 centimeter wide dark rock thus it is thought to be an iron meteorite. It was given the name Oileán Ruaidh after the Irish language name of Oileán Ruaidh island in County Donegal in Ireland.

Opportunity

Opportunity may refer to:

Opportunity (rover), a robotic rover on Mars

Opportunity (film), a 1918 film

The Opportunity, a 17th-century play

Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life, a literary periodical of the Harlem Renaissance

39382 Opportunity, an asteroid

Opportunity, Nebraska

Opportunity, Washington, a former census-designated place in the U.S.

Opportunity International, a microfinance network that lends to the working poor

Opportunity NYC, a 2007–2012 experimental conditional cash transfer program in New York City

"Opportunity", a song by Pete Murray

"Opportunity", a song by The Charlatans

"Opportunity", a song from Annie

Shelter Island meteorite

Shelter Island meteorite was found on Mars by the Opportunity rover on October 1, 2009. It is about 27 centimetres (11 in) long.

Sinus Meridiani

Sinus Meridiani is an albedo feature on Mars stretching east-west just south of that planet's equator. It was named by the French astronomer Camille Flammarion in the late 1870s.

In 1979-2001, the vicinity of this feature (with size about 1600 km and coordinates of the center 7.12 S and 4 E) was named Terra Meridiani.

Solar array energy production throughout mission graphs
Opportunity solar array energy production (2013–2014)
Date Watt-hours
Sol 3376 (July 23, 2013)
431
Sol 3384 (July 31, 2013)
395
Sol 3390 (August 6, 2013)
385
Sol 3430 (September 16, 2013)
346
Sol 3452 (October 9, 2013)
325
Sol 3472 (October 30, 2013)
299
Sol 3478 (November 5, 2013)
311
Sol 3494 (November 21, 2013)
302
Sol 3507 (December 5, 2013)
270
Sol 3534 (January 1, 2014)
371
Sol 3602 (March 12, 2014)
498
Sol 3606 (March 16, 2014)
615
Sol 3621 (April 1, 2014)
661
Sol 3676 (May 27, 2014)
764
Sol 3710 (July 1, 2014)
745
Sol 3744 (August 5, 2014)
686
Sol 3771 (September 2, 2014)
713
Sol 3805 (October 7, 2014)
640
Sol 3834 (November 6, 2014)
505
Sol 3859 (December 1, 2014)
468
Opportunity solar array energy production (2015–2016)
Date Watt-hours
Sol 3894 (January 6, 2015)
438
Sol 3921 (February 3, 2015)
484
Sol 3948 (March 3, 2015)
545
Sol 3982 (April 7, 2015)
559
Sol 4010 (May 5, 2015)
508
Sol 4055 (June 21, 2015)
477
Sol 4084 (July 20, 2015)
432
Sol 4119 (August 25, 2015)
404
Sol 4153 (September 29, 2015)
352
Sol 4180 (October 27, 2015)
332
Sol 4201 (November 18, 2015)
376
Sol 4221 (December 8, 2015)
407
Sol 4246 (January 3, 2016)
449
Sol 4275 (February 2, 2016)
498
Sol 4303 (March 1, 2016)
585
Sol 4337 (April 5, 2016)
650
Sol 4377 (May. 16, 2016)
672
Sol 4398 (June 7, 2016)
637
Sol 4425 (July 5, 2016)
644
Sol 4457 (August 7, 2016)
607
Sol 4486 (September 5, 2016)
476
Sol 4514 (October 4, 2016)
472
Sol 4541 (November 1, 2016)
390
Sol 4575 (December 6, 2016)
372
Opportunity solar array energy production (2017-2018)
Date Watt-hours
Sol 4602 (January 3, 2017)
520
Sol 4636 (February 7, 2017)
414
Sol 4663 (March 6, 2017)
441
Sol 4691 (April 4, 2017)
415
Sol 4718 (May. 2, 2017)
405
Sol 4752 (June 6, 2017)
362
Sol 4786 (July 11, 2017)
352
Sol 4814 (August 8, 2017)
319
Sol 4841 (September 5, 2017)
285
Sol 4875 (October 10, 2017)
339
Sol 4909 (November 14, 2017)
393
Sol 4934 (December 10, 2017)
408
Sol 4970 (January 16, 2018)
525
Sol 4991 (February 8, 2018)
628
Sol 5025 (March 13, 2018)
679
Sol 5052 (April 10, 2018)
694
Sol 5079 (May 8, 2018)
667
Sol 5100 (May 29, 2018)
652
Sol 5105 (June 3, 2018)
468
Sol 5106 (June 4, 2018)
345
Sol 5107 (June 6, 2018)
133
Sol 5111 (June 10, 2018)
22
Extremes of motion
Speed
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See also
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