Once in a great while, NASA's Opportunity rover will catch a glimpse of itself in a photograph of the Martian surface, but the photo featured up top — just released by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory — offers an even rarer view of the Martian landscape, one that the Agency calls "the next best thing to being there."
NASA's robotic Mars Rover Opportunity has been trekking around the surface of Mars for close to eight years now, over 30 times longer than its planned mission duration. While on Mars, the hardy Opportunity moves at a pretty leisurely pace. It took this Energizer-bunny of a rover just short of three years to span…
For the last three years, NASA's Opportunity Rover has been slowly making its way to Mars's Endeavour Crater, and now it's finally made it. Here's one of the first photographs from this alien crater...but the real work is just beginning.