In 1993, the videogame designer Richard Garriott bought the Lunokhod 2 space exploration vehicle at auction for the modest price of $ 68,500. It was the heaviest vehicle that landed on a celestial body (836 kg), until the Curiosity landed on Mars in 2012 (900 kg). The problem is that the vehicle is still on the moon.
Lunokhod was a lunar exploration vehicle of the USSR, used in 1970, which reached a speed of 55 cm / s. However, it is not the maximum speed ever reached on the surface of another world.
Lunar and Martian Record
These are the highest speeds achieved by exploration vehicles:
- Sojourner (USA, 1997): 1 cm / s
- Curiosity (USA, 2012): 2.5 cm / s
- Spirit Y Opportunity (USA, 2004): 5 cm / s (Martian speed record)
- Yutu or "Jade Rabbit" (China, 2013): 5.8 cm / s
- Lunokhod (USSR, 1970): 55 cm / s
- Lunar exploration vehicle (USA, 1972): 500 cm / s (Moon speed record)
For us to see these speeds in perspective, the speed record on Earth on Earth is 34,110 cm / s or, what is the same, 1,227.98 km / h.
The greatest distance ever covered in another world was starred by NASA's Opportunity, which landed on Mars on January 25, 2004. It left behind a plain and reached the edge of the Endeavor crater, at a distance of 43.5 km.
This video from NASA collects 309 of the hundreds of photographs taken by this vehicle, and so you can get an idea in three minutes of what they have found along the way.
The longest distance had been covered in 1973 by the Soviet lunar vehicle Lunokhod 2.