Eleven years and two months after its landing on Mars, the total driving distance of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity surpassed the length of a marathon race: 26.219 miles (42.195 kilometers).
This map shows the southward path driven by Opportunity from late December 2014 until it passed marathon distance on March 24, 2015, during the 3,968th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. Recent drives bring the vehicle close to a science destination called "Marathon Valley" on the west rim of Endeavour Crater. The rover team is using instruments on Opportunity to study "Spirit of St. Louis Crater" before entry into Marathon Valley.
Opportunity reached the Sol 3881 location near the top of the map on Dec. 24, 2015. A map showing wider context of Opportunity's route from its January 2004 landing in Eagle Crater to Endeavour Crater is at PIA18404. A view from the Sol 3893 location at the summit of "Cape Tribulation," taken the following sol, is at PIA19109.
The rover's traverse shown here has been mapped onto an image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Opportunity completed its three-month prime mission in April 2004 and has continued operations in bonus extended missions. It has found several types of evidence of ancient environments with abundant liquid water. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, built and operates Opportunity and manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The University of Arizona, Tucson, operates HiRISE, which was built by Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado.
JPL manages the Mars Exploration Rover Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. For more information about Spirit and Opportunity, visit http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov.