[meteorite-list] Nine-Year-Old Mars Rover Passes 40-Year-Old Record

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 16 May 2013 15:19:08 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201305162219.r4GMJ88N008565_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Nine-Year-Old Mars Rover Passes 40-Year-Old Record
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
May 16, 2013

PASADENA, Calif. -- While Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and
Harrison Schmitt visited Earth's moon for three days in December 1972,
they drove their mission's Lunar Roving Vehicle 19.3 nautical miles
(22.210 statute miles or 35.744 kilometers). That was the farthest total
distance for any NASA vehicle driving on a world other than Earth until

The team operating NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity received
confirmation in a transmission from Mars today that the rover drove 263
feet (80 meters) on Thursday, bringing Opportunity's total odometry
since landing on Mars in January 2004 to 22.220 statute miles (35.760

Cernan discussed this prospect a few days ago with Opportunity team
member Jim Rice of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. The
Apollo 17 astronaut said, "The record we established with a roving
vehicle was made to be broken, and I'm excited and proud to be able to
pass the torch to Opportunity."

The international record for driving distance on another world is still
held by the Soviet Union's remote-controlled Lunokhod 2 rover, which
traveled 23 miles (37 kilometers) on the surface of Earth's moon in 1973.

Opportunity began a multi-week trek this week from an area where it has
been working since mid-2011, the "Cape York" segment of the rim of
Endeavour Crater, to an area about 1.4 miles (2.2 kilometers) away,
"Solander Point."

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute
of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project
for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL also manages the
Mars Science Laboratory Project and its rover, Curiosity, which landed
on Mars in August 2012.

For more information about Opportunity, visit http://www.nasa.gov/rovers
and http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov . You can follow the project on
Twitter and on Facebook at: http://twitter.com/MarsRovers and
http://www.facebook.com/mars.rovers .

Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster at jpl.nasa.gov

Received on Thu 16 May 2013 06:19:08 PM PDT

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