Heat shield impact site of Mars Exploration Rover 'Opportunity', 2004.
© National Aeronautics & Space Administration / Science & Society
This stunning image features the heat shield impact site of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. This is an approximately true-colour mosaic of panoramic camera images taken on 28 December 2004. That was shortly after Opportunity arrived to investigate the site where its heat shield hit the ground south of 'Endurance Crater' on 24 January 2004. On the left, the main heat shield piece is inverted and reveals its metallic insulation layer, glinting in the sunlight. The main piece stands about about 3.3 feet tall and is about about 43 feet from the rover.