As Opportunity wraps up her stay at Santa Maria crater, Stuart Atkinson leaves us with this wonderful “Ansel Adams style” panorama of the crater’s rim and dune-carpeted interior.
“I’m very, very jealous of the people who will one day make a pilgrimage to this very spot, and stand on the jagged, crumbling edge of Santa Maria, beside a monument commemorating Opportunity’s visit, marvelling at the rover’s achievements…”
– Stu Atkinson, The Road to Endeavour
The last fully operating rover on Mars, Opportunity approached Santa Maria around the New Year 2010 and spent the past several months since exploring around its rim. But now it’s time for her to move on, to hit the sands of Meridiani Plains once again in her trek to the massive Endeavour Crater. Not much between Santa Maria and Endeavour besides the low rolling dunes of the Plains, but who knows… there may yet be some hidden treats along the way for her to turn her electronic eyes to.
Only one way to find out…
Godspeed and good luck, Oppy!
Image: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Stuart Atkinson