Nasa’s Opportunity rover has just completed the first marathon on Mars, albeit in the relatively snail-like time of 11 years and two months.
Nevertheless, the feat of clocking 26.2 miles is seen as something of a landmark for the Martian explorer which has already travelled further than any other rover.
so far,This is the first time any human enterprise has exceeded the distance of a marathon on the surface of another world
. A first time happens only once.
According to John Callas, Opportunity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)
Opportunity has been exploring the Red Planet since January 2004 - far exceeding its expected mission length - analysing the geology and water on Earth’s neighbour.
The rover has spent the last four years traversing the giant Endeavour crater and it now sits in Marathon valley (see above) - so-named after Opportunity’s recent achievement.
According to a press release from Nasa, employees at the space agency’s JPL now plan to complete a marathon-length relay at their laboratory next week to celebrate.
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