Opportunity Mars Rover Pushes Past 41 Kilometers Of Driving On Red Planet

Opportunity is the rover that keeps on going and going. It recently broke an extraterrestrial driving record after 10 years of working on the Red Planet.

And even as the rover works through aging problems, the science team is still able to push it further — it just crested 41 kilometers (25.48 miles) on Sol Sol 3,836 (around Nov. 9)! Check out some recent pictures from the rover below.

The NASA machine is roaming the west edge of Endeavour Crater on its way to an area nicknamed “Marathon Valley”, which could contain clay minerals. Clays are considered a sign of water being in a region in the ancient past, which feeds into NASA’s ongoing search for habitable environments on Mars.

By the way, Opportunity is now just shy of a marathon’s worth of driving on Mars (which would be 26 miles, or 41.8 kilometers). In the meantime, we’ve collected some raw images from Opportunity to share. What new horizons will the plucky rover find next, as it draws close to its 11th anniversary on Mars in January?

The Opportunity rover continues to make tracks after passing 41 kilometers (28.5 miles) on Mars. View from Sol 3,846 in November 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
Solar panels from the Opportunity Mars rover shine against the mottled ground on Sol 3,846 in November 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
The wind-swept plains of Mars as seen by the Opportunity rover on Sol 3,846 in November 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
A close-up of the cracked Martian ground taken by the Opportunity rover on Sol 3,846 in November 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
The shadow of the Opportunity rover (bottom) lies dark against Mars ground on Sol 3,841 in November 2014. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for Space.com, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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