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Spotlight On Mars - Image
Opportunity Rover Rolls Past the 12-Mile Mark
February 01, 2010
Read the Spotlight 'Further Tests Designed for Rover's Right-Rear Wheel'

Image and Caption

Opportunity has clicked over the 12-mile mark of driving on Mars. That's 19.31 kilometers, and more than 32 times farther than the success goal for the mission when the rover landed six years ago.

This milestone was reached on Opportunity's last drive on Jan. 28, 2010, as the rover reached the ejecta blanket of material surrounding the youngest crater to be explored by Opportunity on Mars, "Concepcion" crater.

"This is a truly remarkable achievement to drive so far for so long on another planet," said Bill Nelson, engineering team chief for the Mars Exploration Rovers at JPL. "In fact, in 2009 we covered more ground than any prior year since landing in 2004, about 5.3 Kilometers [3.3 miles]," he said.

To reach this milestone, Opportunity's drive motors made more than 38 million revolutions.

"This year and next will be a 19-kilometer [11.8-mile] marathon run from Victoria crater to Endeavour crater," said Nelson. "We will more than double all previous driving. We've made great progress so far and we have no plans to slow down."

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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