A massive dust storm swirled around the Opportunity Rover on June 10, 2018, forcing the robot to shut itself off and save energy. The dust blocked almost all sunlight and turned from day to night.
The opportunity would never awaken. On Wednesday, NASA announced that it would no longer try to revive the 15-year-old machine and officially end the legendary alien mission.
But on this dark June day, just before Opportunity fell silent, the Rover made one last shot:
The image captured a dusty Martian world covered in darkness
"This was the last image we ever shot," said Bill Nelson, head of the Opportunity Mission engineering team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. shortly after NASA declared the mission over.
"We're seeing incredibly low levels of sunlight-0.002 percent of the normal sunlight we'd expect," Nelson said. "If you were there, it would be late at dusk, your human eye would still be able to see some features, but it would be very dark."
However, no features of Mars are visible in this final image.  In the picture, the white static in the middle of the black is just a picture noise that the camera has taken in the darkened environment ("This is like the picture you get on your phone in a very dark environment," Nelson said) , The thick black bar at the bottom of the image is data that never returned to Earth – as if Opportunity's message were cut off in the middle of a sentence.
If the rover had not been hit by such a dust storm, he would have taken Nelson, an opportunity valley that led down into a valley in a 20-meter-wide canal, Nelson said.
The so-called "Perseverance Valley" became Opportunity's final resting place.
Six days earlier, Opportunity had taken the following picture of the vast, sloping environment:
About the course of The Life of Opportunity, the Rover shot well over 200,000 pictures and sent them back to Earth.
One of Nelson's favorites came just 180 Martian days or sols in Opportunity's exploration of the red planet. As the sun shone behind the rover, Opportunity took in a picture of its long shadow.
Status of this rover, "Nelson said," here we are with a tiny rover on this alien alien planet by itself. "
Now the 400-pound robot will spend millennia wrapped in red dust NASA engineers like Nelson will move on to other alien projects, as well as his entire NASA reconnaissance team.
"It's bittersweet," Nelson said, noting how proud he was of working with engineers and scientists who have been leading the opportunity for about 15 years. "Now our teams will be scattering in the wind."% 3a% 2f% 2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws "src =" https://mondrian.mashable.com/uploads% 252Fvideo_uploaders% 252Fdistribution_thumb% 252Fimage% 252F85981% 252F120f5e1f-7646-4214-ac05-8e5ec6b6f03d.png% 252Foriginal.png? Signature = Xh6iamCtwjA5xROqIR8HV1SKfZY = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-api-production.s3.amazonaws.com "data- fragment = "m! 0011" data-image = "htt ps: //mondrian.mashable.com/uploads%252Fvideo_uploaders%252Fdistribution_thumb%252Fimage%252F85981%252F120f5e1f-7646-4214-ac05-8e5ec6b6f03d.png%252Foriginal.png signature = Xh6iamCtwjA5xROqIR8HV1SKfZY = & source = https% 3A% 2F% 2Fblueprint-? api-production.s3.amazonaws.com "data-micro =" 1 "/>