The last image from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The partial image marks the end of a remarkable mission unless there is some miracle.
The image is from the PanCam on the rover. Thanks to NASA and the rest (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU ) for sharing.
NASA: Taken on June 10, 2018 (the 5,111th Martian day, or sol, of the mission) this “noisy”, incomplete image was the last data NASA’s Opportunity rover sent back from Perseverance Valley on Mars. The partial, full-frame image from the Panoramic Camera (Pancam) was sent up to NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter around 9:45 a.m. PDT (12:45 p.m. EDT) to relay back to Earth as an intense dust storm darkened the skies around the solar-powered rover. The image was received on Earth at around 10:05 a.m. PDT (1:05 p.m. EDT).
Opportunity took this image with the left eye of the Pancam, with its solar filter pointed at the Sun. But since the dust storm blotted out the Sun, the image is dark. The white speckles are noise from the camera. All Pancam images have noise in them, but the darkness makes it more apparent. The transmission stopped before the full image was transmitted, leaving the bottom of the image incomplete, represented here as black pixels.
While this partial full-frame image was the last that Opportunity transmitted, it was not actually the last set of images from Opportunity. This image was taken at around 9:30 a.m. PDT (12:30 p.m. EDT) on June 10, 2018. Another set of images (PIA22930) was taken about three minutes later. The thumbnail versions of the last images taken were transmitted, but the rover lost contact before transmitting the full-frame versions.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
Here is a replay of that very impressive launch. The launch is around 52 minutes into the video so you may want to fast forward, I am leaving the prelaunch video for the great information it contains.
Next up – the International Space Station.
Providing no last-minute issues or weather delays today will be a positive day for the history books. SpaceX is launching the first commercially built spacecraft designed to carry humans to the International Space Station.
The first launch of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft aboard the company’s Falcon 9 rocket is now only tomorrow.
For this first flight which is of course a test the flight will not be crewed and is aptly named Demo-1.
Demo-1 is scheduled for 02:49 EST / 07:49 UTC from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A. This launch is a VERY significant step because it will be the first launch of a commercially built American rocket and spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to the International Space Station.
According to NASA, meteorologists with the U.S. Air Force’s 45th Weather Squadron continue to predict an 80 percent chance of favorable weather for launch on Saturday morning, with the possibility of thick clouds or cumulus clouds posing the main concern.
Congratulations to China and the Chinese space program. They made history by putting the Chang’e4 lander on the surface of the Moon, on the far side – the first time in history.
The lander which includes a rover will study mineral composition and reportedly do low frequency radio-astronomy landed in Von Karman crater.
The crater you see in the image above is not Von Karman, it is a small crater within Von Karman. Von Karman is a very large crater 180 Km / 106 miles across and is located in he south-eastern quadrant on the far-side of the moon and thus never visible to us (Longitude: 176.245 east / Latitude: 44.451 south). From the photo it appears the part of the crater wall might be visible in the background.
Here is a view from the Virtual Moon Atlas. I checked and there is no information on the smaller caters within the main crater. So I was unable to figure out exactly where it is from the image. If you don’t have the Virtual Moon Atlas you can download it here. it is free and a great program.
The upper image is from China Xinhua News and by the way, if you are wondering how they got the signal back to Earth, it was done by a relay from the Queqiao relay satellite operating in orbit around the second Lagrangian (L2) point of the earth-moon system.
The lower image as noted is from the Virtual Moon Atlas and you can (or should be able to) get larger versions by clicking the images.