NASA releases driving distances of Mars and Moon craft

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Ever wondered how far the Curiosity rover has driven in its short time on the red planet? Or perhaps the distance that any of the Apollo Lunar Rovers covered while piloted across the dusty surface of our moon? Well now you can find out, thanks to NASA.

Charting the miles (well, kilometers) covered by some of mankind’s greatest vehicular achievements, the space organisation has created a nice infographic to show just how far we’ve come and gone in the past forty years. Of course, only being on Mars for a few months, Curiosity hasn’t had much time to get up to speed, so it’s only traveled 0.7KM. Travel up the list to some of the Lunar Rovers though and we’re getting into the tens of kilometres.

Still, while the USA supposedly won the space race, that’s not the case if you consider it all about distance.

rovers 603x1024 NASA releases driving distances of Mars and Moon craft

That’s right, since 1973 the Russian’s have been kicking the world’s ass all over the place, when it comes to the distance race, in space. However, Opportunity is slowly closing in. Despite it’s initial lifespan expectation being just 90 days, it’s endured for almost ten years and it’s still trundling along. At this rate, it won’t be long before it becomes the crowned king of land racing on another world.

As long as nothing goes wrong though, Curiosity could one day take poll position, as its batteries should easily last over a decade.

KitGuru Says: Impressive stuff from the old Opportunity. In all fairness though, the champion Lunokhod would have gotten further had a load of dust not clogged up its radiators, overheating the thing, in space. Never let the Russian’s build your CPU cooler.

[Thanks Wired]

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