PASADENA, Calif. — While Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt visited Earth’s moon for three days in December 1972, they drove their mission’s Lunar Roving Vehicle 19.3 nautical miles (22.210 statute miles or 35.744 kilometers). That was the farthest total distance for any NASA vehicle driving on a world other than Earth until yesterday.
The team operating NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity received confirmation in a transmission from Mars today that the rover drove 263 feet (80 meters) on Thursday, bringing Opportunity’s total odometry since landing on Mars in January 2004 to 22.220 statute miles (35.760 kilometers).
Next Intent is proud to be part of this history. Next Intent built the wheels on Opportunity, along with a large portion of the chassis and suspension system. “This is a real world testament to great engineering and collaboration between NASA/JPL and their supply chain” stated Rodney Babcock, President of Next Intent.