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Waspie_Dwarf

Opportunity Runs the First Martian Marathon

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Opportunity Runs the First Martian Marathon

With all the fanfare about Mars rover Curiosity landing on the Red Planet in August 2012, it’s easy to forget that there’s already a rover on Mars—an older, smaller cousin setto accomplish a feat unprecedented in the history of Solar System exploration.

Mars rover Opportunity is on track to complete the first extraterrestrial marathon.

A marathon is 26.2 miles. When Opportunity landed on Mars in 2004, NASA’s goal was to have the rover travel a meager 600 meters. However, no one knew what kind of “runner” Opportunity would turn out to be. As of July 2012, Opportunity has traveled almost 22 miles – only 4.2 miles short of a full marathon.

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Opportunity has been very interesting to watch since it landed much as its late & lamented brother Spirit was. Like other NASA projects, they both outlasted their life expectancy by a wide margin so Curiosity has its work cut out for it in keeping up with that sort of "tradition." In the meantime, though, there's not a lot to stop Opportunity from continuing for another 26.4 miles.

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Be cool if it did.

Thanks,

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