According to sources at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover has successfully explored a distance of 25 miles on the planet Mars. Landing on the Red Planet in 2004 it has broken the previous off-Earth record held by Russian Lunokhod 2 rover.
The Russian rover landed on the surface of the moon on January 15, 1973 and drove 24.2 miles. The Opportunity rover had gone more than 20 miles back in2011. Just a few days ago (on July 27), it had reached a total of 25.01 miles.
Steve Squyres, NASA’s lead researcher for the pair of planetary rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, noted: The Lunokhod missions will stand as two signature accomplishments of what I think of as the first golden age of planetary exploration, the 1960s and ‘70s.” When the NASA rover appeared to be about to break the previous record, the team of astronauts working on the rover decide to honor the earlier accomplishments of the Russian rover by naming a crater “Lunokhod 2.
John Gallas of the Mars Exploration Rover Project Manager of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, told the press: “Opportunity rover has driven farther than any other wheeled vehicle in another world off the Earth. This is so remarkable considering Opportunity was intended to drive about one kilometer and was never designed for space 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.”
The NASA astronauts said that they hope the rovers continues to operate as efficiently as it has so far. They hope it can keep up the pace in order to reach its next big investigation site “Marathon Valley.” The Opportunity rover is currently exploring other uncharted regions of the Red Planet.
New Record For NASA Mars Rover: 25 Miles