The last people on the moon were three: Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt. These three people piloted the Apollo 17 mission, and in December of 1972, Cernan and Schmitt were able to take a joyride on the moon in their Lunar Roving Vehicle. They traveled 19.3 nautical miles (22.210 “regular” statute miles) on the moon. This length has marked the longest distance traveled by any NASA vehicle has tread on otherworldly ground. That is, until now.
Remember this little guy? He’s Opportunity, a rover sent to Mars in 2003. Since then, he’s been actively doing his duty on Mars and getting scientific samples, taking pictures, etc. His highlights are finding extramartian meteorites and extensive study of the Victoria Crater.
What’s really exciting, however, is that today, May 16, the little rover reported travelling 263 feet today exploring the Endeavor Crater. That brings its total distance traveled up to 22.220 statute miles.
Thus, this little robot has beaten the record for NASA’s extraterrestrial driving distance!