On July 7th, the Mars Opportunity Rover celebrated the 10 year anniversary of it’s launch from Earth along with it’s sister rover Spirit, which sadly died on Mars in 2010.
Originally expected to operate for only 3 months, Opportunity is well past this mark and shows no signs of letting up.
The little rover that could is on it’s way to a new crater, a 1.2 mile (2 kilometer) trek from the area it’s been studying for the past 22 months. It’s mission clock is at 9 years and counting, it will celebrate it’s 10 year mark on it’s mission timer in January 2014 (having landed January 2004).
Opportunity has traveled over 22 miles currently, and is well on it’s way to breaking the worldwide extraterrestrial driving record set by the Soviet robotic moon rover Lunokhod 2 in 1973 of 26 miles.
As stated right here on Nerditronics previously, it was believed that Lunokhod 2 traveled 23 miles, however new data shows that it traveled about 3 miles further than previously thought.
Not too bad for a little rover that was supposed to go offline over 9 years ago.
Original article on space.com