NASA’s Perseverance rover took a scenic view of its own tracks on Mars on February 4, 2022.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

This story is part of Welcome to Marsour series exploring the red planet.

Back in 2005, the expensively abandoned NASA Opportunity rover set a hell of a record, traveling 722 feet (220 meters) in one day. At the time, NASA called it a “probably long-standing” record. And he endured it. Until the Rover Perseverance broke the record last week.

NASA JPL highlighted the new achievement in a tweet on Monday, saying: “She achieved the longest drive in a salt from a Martian rover (the previous record was held by Opportunity for almost 17 years) and surpassed her own record for the longest drive with AutoNav.” Mars lasts about 24 hours and 40 minutes.

Perseverance is a beast that travels the road and much of it is due to it advanced automatic navigation system which allows the rover to make its own decisions while driving without having to give precise instructions.

The rover team released a few more details about the new record with a tweet on Feb. 5, saying, “I just set a new Martian record of 243.3 meters, and then another yesterday: 245.76 meters.” This longer distance is about 806 feet. This may not sound like an epic journey, but keep in mind that Perseverance travels through the dusty, rocky cliff Jezero.

NASA has shared a view of the rover looking back at its own wheel tracks, and you can see how it should work with challenging terrain and large rocks. As Mars rover Curiosity knows, Martian rocks can hurt.

According to NASA, AutoNav can allow the rover to reach a top speed of 393 feet (120 meters) per hour. Compare this to Curiosity, which is equipped with an earlier AutoNav system that allows it to cover approximately 66 feet (20 meters) per hour. This means that Percy still has little room to breathe to break his own record. As NASA said“Places to visit, rocks to see!”