A rover is a planetary surface exploration vehicle designed to move over the rough surface of a planet or other celestial body. Rovers are used to explore, collect information, and take samples of the surface. This is a list of all rovers on extraterrestrial bodies in the Solar System. Since 1970, there have been seven lunar rovers, seven Mars rovers, and three asteroid rovers that have successfully landed and explored these extraterrestrial surfaces. In addition, a small helicopter on Mars, Ingenuity, operated from 2021 to 2024.

Moon

Main article: Lunar rover

Mission Rover Country/Agency Date of landing Coordinates Operational time Distance travelled Outcome
Luna 17 Lunokhod 1 Soviet Union USSR 17 November 1970 38°14′16″N 35°00′06″W / 38.2378°N 35.0017°W / 38.2378; -35.0017 (Lunokhod 1) 322 days 10.5 km (6.5 mi) Successful
First rover on an extraterrestrial body.
Luna 21 Lunokhod 2 Soviet Union USSR 15 January 1971 25°51′N 30°27′E / 25.85°N 30.45°E / 25.85; 30.45 (Lunokhod 2) 236 days 39 km (24 mi) Successful
Farthest distance traveled on the Moon.
Chang'e 3 Yutu China CNSA 14 December 2013 44°07′17″N 19°30′42″W / 44.1214°N 19.5116°W / 44.1214; -19.5116 (Yutu) 42 days (mobile)
973 days (total)
114.8 m (377 ft) Successful
First Chinese extraterrestrial rover and first lunar rover in over 40 years.
Chang'e 4 Yutu-2 China CNSA 3 January 2019 45°26′38″S 177°35′56″E / 45.444°S 177.599°E / -45.444; 177.599 (Yutu 2) 1863 days 1.455 km (0.904 mi)[1]
as of 3 January 2023
Operational
First rover on the far side of the Moon. Longest fully functioning rover on the Moon.
Chandrayaan-2 Pragyan India ISRO 6 September 2019 70°54′S 22°47′E / 70.90°S 22.78°E / -70.90; 22.78 (Vikram lander) 0 days 0 km Precluded
Lost when Vikram lander crash landed on the Moon.
Hakuto-R Mission 1 Rashid United Arab Emirates MBRSC April 2023 TBD 0 days 0 km Precluded
Sora-Q Japan Tomy/JAXA/Doshisha University April 2023 Precluded
Contact lost during final descent of the Hakuto-R Mission 1 lander. Presumed crash landing and failure.
Chandrayaan-3 Pragyan India ISRO 23 August 2023 69°22′23″S 32°19′08″E / 69.373°S 32.319°E / -69.373; 32.319 (Pragyan)[2] 12 days 101.4 m (333 ft)[3]
as of 2 September 2023
Successful
First rover to successfully land near lunar south pole.
SLIM LEV-1 Japan JAXA 19 January 2024 13°18′58″S 25°15′04″E / 13.3160°S 25.2510°E / -13.3160; 25.2510 (SLIM LEV-1 & LEV-2) 1 hour and 51 minutes Successful
LEV-2 (Sora-Q) Successful
A hopper and a rover included in the SLIM mission which demonstrated precision landing technology.
Peregrine Mission One Iris United States CMU 2024 TBD Precluded
Colmena x5 Mexico UNAM Precluded
Colmena would have been deployed using a small catapult mechanism. Mission cancelled along with the cancelled landing of Peregrine lander due to excessive propellant leak.[4]
IM-2 MAPP United States Lunar Outpost H1 2024 TBD Planned
AstroAnt United States MIT[5] Planned
Micro-Nova United States Intuitive Machines Planned
Yaoki Japan Dymon Planned
MAPP and Micro-Nova will demonstrate a new lunar communication system.
IM-3 Lunar Vertex United StatesNASA/Lunar Outpost H1 2024 TBD Planned
CADRE x4 United StatesNASA Planned
Mission to study Reiner Gamma.
Griffin Mission One VIPER United States NASA November 2024 TBD Planned
Will land near Nobile crater to search for Lunar water.
Hakuto-R Mission 2 Micro rover Japan ispace Europe 2024 TBD Planned
Hakuto-R Mission 2 will feature a rover for surface exploration and data collection.
LUPEX LUPEX Rover Japan JAXA India ISRO 2025 TBD Planned
Joint mission between ISRO and JAXA.
Chang’e 7 Chang’e 7 rover China CNSA 2026 TBD Planned
Chang’e 7 hopper Planned
Will search for water ice in and around craters in the south pole of the Moon.
Starship lunar cargo mission FLEX United States Astrolab 2026 TBD Planned
Astrolab contracted with SpaceX to send their rover to the Moon aboard Starship[6][7]
Chang’e 8 Chang’e 8 rover China CNSA 2028 TBD Planned
Chang’e 8 Robot Planned
Chinese ISRU mission in preparation for ILRS.

Mars

Main article: Mars rover

Mission Rover Country/Agency Date of landing Coordinates Operational time Distance travelled
Mars 2 PrOP-M Soviet Union USSR 27 November 1971 45°S 47°E / 45°S 47°E / -45; 47 (Mars 2 lander) - -
First rover to reach Mars. Lost when Mars 2 landing system crash landed on Mars.
Mars 3 PrOP-M Soviet Union USSR 2 December 1971 45°S 202°E / 45°S 202°E / -45; 202 (Mars 3 lander) - -
First rover to successfully land on Mars. The lander stopped communicating about 110 seconds after landing, before the rover was deployed.
Mars Pathfinder Sojourner United States NASA 4 July 1997 38°14′16″N 35°00′06″W / 38.2378°N 35.0017°W / 38.2378; -35.0017 (Sojourner) 85 days 100 m (330 ft)
First rover to successfully run on Mars.
Mars Exploration Rover Spirit United States NASA 4 January 2004 14°34′06″S 175°28′21″E / 14.5684°S 175.472636°E / -14.5684; 175.472636 (Spirit) 6 years 79 days 7.73 km (4.80 mi)
Mission ended after rover got stuck in Martian sand.
Opportunity United States NASA 25 January 2004 1°56′46″S 354°28′24″E / 1.9462°S 354.4734°E / -1.9462; 354.4734 (Opportunity) 14 years 140 days 45.16 km (28.06 mi)
Longest distance travelled by any rover and most days operated.
Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity United States NASA 6 August 2012 4°35′22″S 137°26′30″E / 4.5895°S 137.4417°E / -4.5895; 137.4417 (Curiosity) 11 years 187 days 31.06 km (19.30 mi)
as of 5 December 2023[8]
Rover for investigating past and present habitability, climate and geology.
Mars 2020 Perseverance United States NASA 18 February 2021 18°26′41″N 77°27′03″E / 18.4447°N 77.4508°E / 18.4447; 77.4508 (Mars 2020) 2 years 356 days 23.73 km (14.75 mi)
as of 3 January 2023[9]
Ingenuity 3 April 2021 (deployment) 2 years 340 days 17.242 km (10.714 mi) in 72 flights[10]
The Ingenuity helicopter is the first aircraft to fly on an extraterrestrial body.
Tianwen-1 Zhurong China CNSA 14 May 2021 25°06′N 109°54′E / 25.1°N 109.9°E / 25.1; 109.9 (Zhurong) 356 days 1.921 km (1.194 mi)
as of 1 May 2022[11]
Inactive after dust storm and Martian winter.
MMX IDEFIX FranceGermanyCNES/DLR 2026 TBD
Rover for studying the surface of Phobos.
Mars Sample Return Mars Sample Recovery Helicopters United States NASA 2030 TBD
Two Ingenuity class helicopters designed to retrieve Martian surface samples.

Asteroids

Body Mission Rover Country/Agency Date of landing Location Operational time Distance travelled
162173 Ryugu Hayabusa2 MINERVA-II Rover-1A Japan JAXA 21 September 2019 Tritonis 36 days[12]
MINERVA-II Rover-1B 3 days[12]
Successfully landed, returned images, and hopped along surface. First rovers on an asteroid.
MASCOT GermanyFrance DLR/CNES 3 October 2018 Alice's Wonderland 17 h 14 min[13] ~17.9 m (59 ft)[13]
Successfully landed, returned images from the surface, and performed multiple hops along surface.
MINERVA-II Rover-2 Japan JAXA October 2019 Unknown 0 days 0 m
Failed before deployment, so it was released into orbit around the asteroid to perform gravitational measurements before it impacted a few days later.

Titan

Mission Rover Country/Agency Date of landing Location Operational time Distance travelled
Dragonfly United States NASA 2034 Shangri-La 10 years (planned) 8 km per flight
Rotorcraft to be sent to Titan in 2027.

Crewed rovers

Mission Rover Country/Agency Date of landing Coordinates Operational time Distance travelled Notes
Apollo 15 Lunar Roving Vehicle United States NASA 7 August 1971 26.1322°N 3.6339°E 3 h 02 min 27.76 km

(7.75 mi)

First crewed lunar rover
Apollo 16 Lunar Roving Vehicle United States NASA 21 April 1972 8.97301°S 15.50019°E 3 h 26 min 26.55 km

(16.50 mi)

Apollo 17 Lunar Roving Vehicle United States NASA 11 December 1972 20.1908°N 30.7717°E 4 h 26 min 35.89 km

(22.30 mi)

Furthest distance travelled by crewed lunar rover
Artemis 5 Lunar Terrain Vehicle United States NASA 2029 TBD Unpressurised crewed rover for the Artemis program
Artemis 7 Lunar Cruiser Japan JAXA 2031 TBD Developed jointly between JAXA and Toyota
Chinese Crewed Lunar Mission Chinese Crewed Rover China CNSA 2030> TBD Rover shown at the National Museum of China on 24 February 2023

Proposed rovers

Rover Country/Agency Proposed Date of launch Location Notes
MPR-1 Canada STELLS 2025 In range of a crater Rover under study for power supply for future mining rovers
Canadensys Rover Canada Canadensys 2026 Lunar South Pole Rover funded by CSA to scout for water ice on the Moon
Lunar Trailblazer Australia Australian Space Agency 2026 Rover being researched by Australian businesses
Lunar Zebro Netherlands Delft University of Technology 2026 Lunar South Pole Small rover studying swarm technologies
Luna-Grunt Russia Roscosmos 2028 Rover for proposed Luna 29 sample return mission, details of rover are unknown
LIBER Singapore Qosmosys 2027 TBD Lunar Integrated Bulk Extraction Rover (LIBER) will mine on the lunar surface.[citation needed]
Work Robot China CNSA 2028 May become part of Chang'e 8 mission.[14]
ExoMars Rosalind Franklin Europe ESA NET 2028 18°16′30″N 335°22′05″E / 18.275°N 335.368°E / 18.275; 335.368 (Rosalind Franklin) Rover will search for previous signs of life on Mars.
HERACLES Canada CSA 2030 Schrödinger basin Part of European Large Logistic Lander program, will be used to transport samples and scout for resources on the Moon.
TBD South Korea KARI 2031 KARI has requested a budget of $459 million for a lander and rover mission.[15]
Asagumo United Kingdom Spacebit TBD Spider-like rover was planned to launch with Peregrine Mission One but its status is currently unknown
CELV China Jilin University/CAST TBD Near a Lunar base The Cubic Emergency Lunar Vehicle is an emergency crewed rover that will be stored on a larger crewed rover.[16]
MoonRanger United States Astrobotic/Carnegie Mellon University TBD Lunar South Pole Was intended to launch in November 2023 but lunar lander provider Masten Space Systems declared bankruptcy and the rover is on hold
Rashid 2 United Arab Emirates MBRSC TBD TBD Rover development announced after failure of first rover.

See also

References

  1. ^ Andrew Jones (2021-10-05). "1,000 days on the moon! China's Chang'e 4 lunar far side mission hits big milestone". Space.com. Retrieved 2021-10-07.
  2. ^ Chandrayaan 3 - After The Landing What Happens Next?, retrieved 2023-08-28
  3. ^ "Chandrayaan-3 Mission: All planned Rover movements have been verified. The Rover has successfully traversed a distance of about 100 meters. Rover payloads LIBS and APXS are turned ON. All payloads on the propulsion module, lander module, and rover are performing nominally. #Chandrayaan_3 #Ch3". Twitter. Retrieved 2023-08-25.
  4. ^ Fisher, Jackie Wattles, Kristin (2024-01-08). "Peregrine mission abandons Moon landing attempt after suffering 'critical' fuel loss". CNN. Retrieved 2024-01-09.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "AstroAnt". MIT Media Lab. Retrieved 2023-12-29.
  6. ^ Dinner, Josh (April 1, 2023). "SpaceX Starship will launch this new private moon rover in 2026 (video)". Space.com. Retrieved 2023-12-30.
  7. ^ Foust, Jeff (November 21, 2023). "Astrolab announces first customers for commercial lunar rover mission". SpaceNews. Retrieved 2023-12-30.
  8. ^ "Where Is Curiosity?". mars.nasa.gov. NASA. Retrieved 5 December 2023. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  9. ^ "Where is Perseverance?". Mars 2020 Mission Perseverance Rover. NASA. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  10. ^ "Mars Helicopter Flight Log". Mars Helicopter Tech Demo. NASA. Retrieved 5 December 2023.
  11. ^ "中欧火星探测器成功开展在轨中继通信试验". 新华网. 2021-12-01. Retrieved 2021-12-01.
  12. ^ a b Yoshimitsu, Tetsuo; Kubota, Takashi; Tomiki, Atsushi; Yoshikaw, Kent (2019-10-24). Operation results of MINERVA-II twin rovers onboard Hayabusa2 asteroid explorer (PDF). 70th International Astronautical Congress. International Astronautical Federation. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  13. ^ a b Davis, Jason (28 August 2019). "Hayabusa2 Lander Mania: Results from MASCOT, Plans for MINERVA-II2". The Planetary Society. Retrieved 2020-01-25.
  14. ^ "China to Build Lunar Research Station During Chang'e-8 Mission". YouTube.
  15. ^ "South Korea seeks $459 million for lunar lander project". 30 August 2022.
  16. ^ "MSN". MSN.