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A technician is working on Opportunity's cruise stage, the part of the spacecraft responsible for guiding and fueling the trip to Mars.  A large white and silver ring features propellant tanks covered in shiny gold Kapton material that serves as an insulator. In the center of the larger ring sits a smaller, black ring, inside of which are housed the antennas used to communicate through the long journey to Mars.

This image highlights the bottom of the spacecraft's cruise configuration - the shape it took until the aeroshell containing the rover separated during its entry, descent and landing phase. This cruise stage ring contains vital elements that led the craft safely to Mars, including propellant tanks and the cruise low- and medium-gain antennas. The star scanner and sun sensor, also located on this ring, allowed the spacecraft to know where it was in space by analyzing the position of the sun and other stars in relation to itself.

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