On January 24, 2004, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity landed on Mars, beginning what has turned into an incredible nine years of exploration of the Red Planet. Landing three weeks after its exploratory twin, Spirit, which shut down in 2010, Opportunity is still going strong.
Since its arrival at the Matijevic Hill area on the western rim of Endeavour Crater, where this 210 degree panorama image was captured on November 19, 2012, the rover has driven about 22 miles, delivering 176,258 raw images along the way, extending its research well beyond its initial three month mission.
The false-color view seen here helps to emphasize the differences between varying materials in the rocks and the soils. Combining images taken through three different Pancam filters -- near infrared light, green, and violet -- better simulate the view a human on Mars would see.
Caption byJames Martin / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU
Opportunity's Pancam captured this 817 image, 360 degree view of an outcrop known as "Greeley Haven" while it was stationary for four months of work during its most recent Martian winter on December 21, 2011.
Caption byJames Martin / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/Arizona State Univ.
This 225 degree panorama view, looking from north-northwest on the left to south-southwest on the right was captured by the Pancam on Opportunity during the 2,453rd and 2,454th Martian days, or sols, of the rover's work on Mars, December 18 and 19, 2010.
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity used the Pancam in a super-resolution technique to record this eastward view of the horizon, with the western rim of Endeavour Crater on the right, on the 2,298th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars, July 11, 2010.
NASA says the super-resolution capability is an imaging technique that combines information from multiple pictures of the same target to generate an image with a higher resolution than any of the individual images.
Caption byJames Martin / Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell University
NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity recorded this view of the Intrepid crater on November 11, 2010. The crater is named after the lunar module of NASA's Apollo 12 mission, which landed on Earth's moon November 19, 1969.