NASA’s Opportunity rover on Mars has now boldly gone farther than any vehicle has before on the surface of another world, space agency officials announced today (July 28).
As of Sunday (July 27), theOpportunity rover has driven 25.01 miles (40.2 kilometers) on the Red Planet, NASA officials said. The distance record had been held by the Soviet Union’s remote-controlled Lunokhod 2 rover, which covered 24.2 miles (39 km) on the moon back in 1973.
"Opportunity has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle on another world," Opportunity project manager John Callas, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement.
"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." [Distances Driven on Other Worlds (Infographic)]