.000027 miles per hour


Friday, January 24 is the 10th anniversary of NASA’s Opportunity rover landing on Mars. In a cocoon of airbags it bounced around the surface of the Meridiani plains, came to a stop, deflated the bags, and eventually drove away.  It’s still operating. Still making discoveries. Is that an amazing engineering accomplishment? Will Curiosity last that long? That would surprise me, but maybe we’re just that dang good at making space cars.

Opportunity has traveled a total of 24 miles. With 10 years there, I calculated .000027 miles per hour, which is totally unfair since the rover has its long dormant periods, and many stop-and-study periods. NASA says its average speed on a hard surface is 1 centimeter per second. According to one source, snails move at 1.3 centimeters per second. 



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s