Before circling the circuits in the shadow of a dusty Martian dust, Opportunity took a long look at its surroundings and saved it for the next generation.
The image represents an extreme conclusion to the rover mission; a detailed panorama that combines its latest marathon journey tracks with a glimpse of the sand that it does not touch.
Forget science in a moment.
Opportunity is not intended to run until its. About 90 days in the end have reached 15 solid years of rafting on the Martian sands, pumping out snapshots like a tourist who have forgotten everything about their retirement.
The 360-degree image was taken from the rover's last resting place in May last year. Over the course of 29 days, Opportunity presents its surroundings in a series of 354 individual snapshots before returning them back to NASA for piecing together.
While most of them provide a colorful landscape view, a small number of black and white blocks in the corner are taken with deep energy, Opportunity denied the time it needs to get the last of the scenes in the colors of green and violet.
"This final panorama contains what our Opportunity rover did as a striking exploration and discovery mission," says John Callas from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California .
"At the right of the center you can see the edge of the Endeavor Crater rising in the distance. On the left side, the rover tracks begin their landing off the horizon and drop their way down to geologic features that our scientists want to check closely.
"And to the right and left is the bottom of the Perseverance Valley and the floor of the Endeavor cavalry, clean and without education, waiting for visits from future researchers. "
Anyone – or whatever – these future explorers can be prevented from seeing.
No doubt one day a future spaceship of either human or robotic type will meet aged rover, and perhaps find a way to do it again.
Until that time, the picture goes down in history with other popular space exploration snapshots, which serve as our eyes in another world. ]