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Opportunity Rover of NASA Broke the 40-Year-Old Extraterrestrial Distance Record

May 20, 2013 13:22 IST

Opportunity roverThe Opportunity rover of NASA broke the 40-year-old extraterrestrial distance record on 16 May 2013, after 9 long years of Mars exploration. The six-wheeled robot, Opportunity created record by travelling a total distance of 35.760 kilometres ever since it landed on Mars in 2004.

The team that operates Opportunity received a confirmation in transmission from the Red Planet that opportunity drove 80 metres on 16 May 2013, thus bringing its overall odometry to 35.760 km since its landing on Mars.

When the astronauts of Apollo 17, Harrison Schmitt and Eugene Cernan visited the Moon for three days in 1972, they drove the roving vehicle for 35.744 km or 19.3 nautical miles. Since then, this was the farthest overall distance travelled by any NASA vehicle that drove on world apart from Earth.

At present, the international record of extraterrestrial distance is held by remote-controlled Lunokhod 2 rover of Soviet Union that travelled 37 km on Moon in 1973.


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