Science & Technology

Mars Opportunity Beats Off-World Travel Record Set by Apollo Moon Buggy Forty Years Ago

22 miles traveled on Mars


NASA's long-lived Opportunity Mars rover is the new American champion of off-planet driving, breaking a distance record set more than 40 years ago by an Apollo moon buggy.

The six-wheeled Opportunity rover drove 263 feet (80 meters) on Wednesday (May 15), bringing its total odometry on the Red Planet to 22.220 miles (35.760 kilometers), NASA officials said. The previous mark had been held by the Apollo 17 moon rover, which astronauts Gene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt drove for 22.210 miles (35.744 km) across the lunar surface in December 1972.