Curiosity took its first drive on Mars today, traveling about ten feet. But another NASA probe did something even more amazing last week — and has traveled waaaaaay farther — about nine billion miles, and in the process set a record for the space agency. From Space.com:
On Aug. 13, Voyager 2 became NASA’s longest-operating mission when it broke the previous record of 12,758 days of operation set by the Pioneer 6 probe, which launched on Dec. 16, 1965, and sent its last signal home on Dec. 8, 2000.
Voyager 2 is currently about 9 billion miles (15 billion kilometers) away from the sun and traveling away in a southerly direction, NASA officials said. For the past five years it has been sending back information about the outer layer of the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself. No one really knows how long it will take to get to interstellar space, but NASA officials said the Voyager twins will have enough power to keep communicating with Earth until 2020, possibly 2025.
The Voyager 1 probe, meanwhile, is about 11 billion miles (18 billion km) from the sun and traveling north as it makes its way out of the solar system.
(Illustration via Geeksmash.com)