Sometimes, the circumstances surrounding a photograph can be as much of a marvel as the photograph itself.
NASA’s series of panoramic images, beamed back from its Exploration Rover, is a stellar example of this. Beaming back images from the surface of Mars is a magnificent technical feat, with the rover vehicle having to travel hundreds of millions of miles without breaking up, losing contact with base or developing technical glitches. In addition, it depends upon satellite technology to relay information across a significant section of the galaxy. It’s quite something. And each panorama is composed of hundreds and hundreds of individual images.
The detail contained in these panoramic compositions is exceptional when you consider the circumstances. And we’ll be treated to many more over the next few years. But the 2012 rover is by no means the first to transmit panoramic images from Mars. This website is an archive of panoramas captured by NASA’s previous Mars rover, Opportunity, which has remained in operation far beyond engineers’ expectations – and is still working today.
Tantalizing stuff. Hats off to everybody involved.