recommended reading

A Robot Just Broke the Human Record for Miles Driven in Space

Mars Rover Opportunity catches its own late-afternoon shadow in a view eastward across Endeavour Crater on Mars.

Mars Rover Opportunity catches its own late-afternoon shadow in a view eastward across Endeavour Crater on Mars. // NASA/AP

In December of 1972, the Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt got to do something awesome: They took a joyride on the moon. A long one. The pair piloted their mission's Lunar Roving Vehicle 19.3 nautical miles (which is also 22.210 statute miles, or 35.744 kilometers) over the moon's dusty, roadless terrain, collecting scientific samples along the way. 

Their trip -- Thelma and Louise, with a better car and a happier ending -- was notable not just for the photos it produced or the payloads it collected. The distance Cernan and Schmitt traversed on that foreign soil -- those 20-odd miles of moon-driving -- has marked the longest stretch that any NASA vehicle has ever tread on ground other than Earth. 

Until now, that is. 

Today, the team that operates Opportunity, NASA's unexpectedly long-lived Mars Exploration Rover, received a transmission from the Red Planet: The rover, moving from one segment of Mars's Endeavor Crater to another, drove 263 feet. Which means that Opportunity's total odometry since it landed on Mars in January 2004 is now ... 22.220 statute miles.

Read more at The Atlantic

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.