If your body is in such shape you suspect it would take 11 years to complete a marathon, you’re in good company; that’s how long it took NASA’s Opportunity rover.
Although the Opportunity hasn’t been celebrated quite as much as its Oreo-memorialized cousin, Curiosity, the elder rover has indeed been traversing the red planet for over a decade. In that time, the machine has amassed over 26.2 miles worth of data about Mars, almost certainly including info about sustainability of life on other planets, and the prescience of David Bowie. Also, it has been filming this entire time with a fancy hazard-avoidance camera.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has just released an eight-minute time-lapse video spanning the entire trip. Get ready to relive the last 11 years through the eyes of a space robot in unfamiliar territory, including that time it got stuck in a sand dune for months early on. (We’ve all been there.) Watch the opportunity cruise along a winding map of Martian craters, occasionally stopping to explore the ground further with its huge robot arm. The sound comes from vibration measurements from the Opportunity’s accelerometer, and generally sounds like skateboarding on a gravelly road. If you’ve seen enough horror movies, though, you might be waiting to hear the sound of a rogue cosmonaut suffering from space-insanity.JB