Opportunity is still on the move, but the Soviet Lunokhod 2 remains the long distance champion among remote controlled vehicles rolling on other worlds. We’re big fans of all rovers, but Lunokhod, the tank on the Moon, holds a special place in this blog’s heart. It’s even one of our mascots. Lunokhod was the first planetary rover, and remains the only one to look like a tin bathtub with a lid, so we were glad to learn this week that new information from a NASA lunar probe proves that Lunokhod 2 traveled 26 miles (42 kilometers) on the Moon during its mission in 1973. As of last Wednesday, rover Opportunity has covered 23.35 miles (37.58 km) on Mars since it landed in January 2004. Opportunity is still active (in the 10th year of its original three month mission, and long may it run!) , but will soon take shelter and hunker down for the Martian winter, so Lunokhod’s record will stand for a while yet.
Read the whole story, including an image of Lunokhod itself and an explanation of why this record, though interesting, is not really important, here. Thanks to Rick for bringing this important story to our attention.