The Last Image the Spirit Mars Rover Ever Saw

spirit over

Despite NASA's attempt at anthropomorphism, the Mars rovers do not speak, so Spirit was not capable to complete any last words. But we did get to share its finishing view. Behold, our departed rover's final Martian vista, the Columbia Hills. This was the final panorama Spirit transmits to Earth, on its 2,175th sol on Mars. The rover's final transmission came just 35 sols later, on March 22, 2010. With its wheels delayed in soft sand, it was powerless to turn its solar panels on the way to the sun to gather sufficient sun through a mostly harsh Martian winter.

NASA tried to hail the rover for more than a year before on the record giving up last week. Its twin, Opportunity, is still going physically powerful on the other side of Mars. The rover science team will hold a scheduling assembly in July, and team members told Universe Today that happening would serve as a sort of Irish wake for Spirit -- overflowing with celebrations of the rover's accomplishments for the duration of the past six years.

NASA shared this image throughout its Astronomy Photo of the Day website. The panorama includes the Columbia Hills, each name for the astronauts who decomposed in the 2003 Columbia accident, and a hill nickname von Braun. That's the hill with the light-colored peak near the top middle of the image, give explanation astronomers Robert Nemiroff of Michigan Tech and Jerry Bonn ell of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. The von Braun pile and a related feature name Goddard could be the result of earlier period volcanic activity on Mars, which was also evident in the yielding sulfate-rich deposits that cause Spirit's wheels to get stuck.

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