Records are meant to be broken, don’t you think so? If you have answered in the affirmative, then you might want to celebrate the fact that NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars has now achieved a brand new record, having completed a longer distance compared to any other vehicle on the surface of a different planet.
As of July 27th, 2014, the Opportunity rover has clocked up a grand total of 25.01 miles (40.2 kilometers) on Mars, at least according to NASA officials. The previous extraterrestrial distance record was under the ownership of the Soviet Union’s remote-controlled Lunokhod 2 rover, where that model managed a distance of 24.2 miles (39 km) on the moon all the way back, four decades plus ago, in 1973.
Opportunity project manager John Callas, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, shared, “Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world. This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for distance. But what is really important is not how many miles the rover has racked up, but how much exploration and discovery we have accomplished over that distance.”
If the Opportunity rover continues to roll on for one mile plus or so, it would have pulled off an off-world marathon (that is, 26.2 miles, or 42.2 km). Will Opportunity seek out other “water” sources along the way?