It seems we've passed the 100 day/sol mark for Perseverance.

Perseverance and Curiosity are comparable in designs but have had significantly different short term goals; Curiosity was the first of it's size class and probably wanted to get its "sea legs" in terms of driving and navigation from Earth, and Perseverance has been busy staying close by to watch the Ingenuity helicopter's six flights so far.

At some point I expect Perseverance to take off and Ingenuity to follow saying "Hey, wait for me!"

We should note that the CNSA has just recently put a lander + rover on Mars and deployed its rover. Since it will be three more months before 100 days is reached and there may not be the same type of publicly available and reliable quantitative information on meters traveled, I'll constrain this question to NASA Mars rovers of which there are five if I'm not mistaken. There is also the Soviet Mars rover PROP-M but answers to Is there any chance Mars-3's Prop-M rover deployed automatically and "roved"? suggest there will not be any definitive information on if it roved at all until more detailed reconnaissance information is available.

Question: In their first 100 sols which NASA Mars rover drove furthers and least?

Keep on Truckin PROP-M!

Soviet Mars rover PROP-M

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ A useful concept when trying to compare different freight systems is to calculate tonne-kilometers (tkm), for heavy freight, or kilogram-kilometer, for parcel freight. It's analogous to the equation: Work = Force x Distance. For the Mars rovers you could get an idea of the work they did in the first 100 sols by multiplying the mass of each rover by the total distance each traveled, in kilogram-meters. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Jun 2, 2021 at 5:57
  • $\begingroup$ It would be a better way to compare the efforts of Sojourner & Curiosity. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Jun 2, 2021 at 6:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Fred you are welcome to post that as a complementary question; you can link back here and say "...but I'm interested in a different and perhaps more relevant metric..." For record questions like most, least, longest, shortest, most massive, most energetic, etc... it's easier to ask for simple numerical values that can be directly compared. I agree that your metric may be more interesting to many, but "clicks" or kilometers are still one important as a metric of how much exploring is done. One needs to cover terrain; compare moving 1 kt by 1 meter to 1 t by 1 km; which explores more? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Jun 2, 2021 at 6:11

1 Answer 1


By exhaustive listing:

  • Sojurner: Mission lasted 83 sols, so the entire distance travelled is eligible. 104 meters.
  • Spirit: at least ~500 m, from maps. (I know a distance-per-day table exists, I just couldn't find it now)
  • Opportunity: at least ~600 m, from another map.
  • Perserverance: ~345 m (though that number is from 20th of May, a few weeks off).
  • Curiosity: 480 meters to Rocknest, plus a very few feet within Rocknest.

Looks like a win for Opportunity, although I would have to find those daily distance tables to be absolutely sure.

As for non-NASA Mars rovers, China's Zhurong rover was deployed from the lander a week ago on 22 May 2021, and hasn't covered any distance yet. (Update August 2021: With 100 sols soon upcoming, the rover has so far driven 730 metres).

For all solar system rovers, the two Soviet Lunokhod moon rovers both drove several kilometres within the same time period.


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