Rover-veteran Opportunity made the first photo in his life of himself, celebrating this way, 5000 days of work on the surface of Mars, the official Twitter of the project.
Last weekend, the rover Opportunity celebrated another round date in his life – he worked on the surface of Mars five thousand days, living 55 times longer than expected by its creators. This day, the third test of NASA was to be held in the usual “working” mode, receiving data on the geology and shape of the surface of Mars.
The scientific team of Opportunity decided to combine the useful with the pleasant – its members used the scientific camera MI, built into the “arm” of the rover, to get the first in his life photos of himself on the surface of Mars. For this, they used a technique similar to that used by the team of his heir, the Curiosity rover.
Curiosity, who sat on the surface of the red planet in August 2012, received hundreds of photos of himself during this time, using a high-resolution camera, installed in his robotic arm. These “selfies” are made up of dozens and hundreds of individual photographs taken from different angles, from which the MAHLI hand itself is “programmatically removed” so as not to spoil the picture.
His predecessors, the current Opportunity rover and his deceased fellow Spirit, did not make such shots, since their MI cameras do not have a sufficiently high resolution and are designed to produce photographs of various micro-objects from extremely short distances. For this reason, scientists have never tried to get a full “SELFI” Opportunity, and were satisfied with panoramic photos, which were visible to some parts of the rover.
This tradition was broken in honor of the “anniversary” of the rover – scientists glued together 17 photos obtained by MI from different angles, and received the first Self Dispensation. Compared to the Curiosity pictures, the image quality turned out to be quite low, but the scientific team of the rover and other inhabitants of the Earth had the first opportunity to see how 14 years of life on Mars affected the look of the car now living its 56 life.