NASA rover just completed the first-ever Mars marathon

Somebody get that rover a 26.2 bumper sticker.

 

Lisa Granshaw

Internet Culture

Published Mar 25, 2015   Updated May 29, 2021, 5:47 am CDT

NASA’s Mars exploration rover Opportunity achieved a major milestone Tuesday, completing a marathon on the Red Planet. It has traveled a distance of 26.219 miles since it landed on Jan. 25, 2004.

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It may have taken the rover 11 years and two months, but it’s still a major accomplishment.

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“This is the first time any human enterprise has exceeded the distance of a marathon on the surface of another world,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Opportunity project manager John Callas said in a statement. “A first time happens only once.”

The rover’s original mission was supposed to last just three months, but it has continued to operate since then leading to many more discoveries.

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According to NASA, the rover team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has planned a marathon-length relay run to celebrate the Opportunity’s achievement.

H/T The Verge | Screengrab via NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory/YouTube

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*First Published: Mar 25, 2015, 1:32 pm CDT