3 days ago
Scattered rocks on the barren Mars-like landscape of Atacama Desert, just before sunrise. Swipe left for the entire panorama.
This is as close to Mars as I can get to. When I was working as a science journalist I was obsessed with the Red Planet exploration stories. There are so much mysteries to unfold in our neighboring planet. This is a tribute to @nasa Opportunity Mars Rover mission which was officially ended this week after 15 years, “lived” longer on the surface of Mars than any other robot, far exceeded the original 90-day mission. It survived a dust storm in 2007 but a second one in 2018 blocked even more sunlight and energy, the end for the rover which drove a total of 28 miles (45 km) over years, the record for longest drive on another world. Its twin rover Spirit, on another side of the planet, was also a die hard that worked 5 years in extreme Martian environment.
Incredible engineering and science achievement by the mission team at @nasajpl and leadership of my friend and mentor @firouz_michael_naderi who was NASA’s Mars program director in the 2000s which led to unprecedented 6 consecutive successful missions to #mars
#nasajpl #spaceexploration #solarsystem #marsrover #atacama @natgeoimagecollection @esoastronomy @tweetsoutloud