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Rover (space exploration) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
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Three different Mars rover designs; Sojourner

A rover is a vehicle that travels on the ground of a planet, moon, or other astronomical object. Some rovers carry people that drive them. Most are robots that can drive themselves for short distances, but humans on Earth give them directions each day about where to go and what to do. They are electric vehicles, either using solar power or nuclear power.


The Mars Rover, Sojourner

Mars - The only rovers to successfully land on Mars were sent there by NASA. They have special equipment on arms for testing the soil, taking pictures and doing other planetary science.

  • Sojourner rover - The first Mars rover, this was a test vehicle to see if a solar vehicle would work on Mars. It landed on July 4th, 1997 and lasted nearly three months.
  • Spirit rover - Spirit and Opportunity were launched as a pair. Spirit landed January 4, 2004 and lasted a little over six years.
  • Opportunity rover - Landed January 25, 2004 and is still working.
  • Curiosity rover - A nuclear-powered rover, landed August, 2012 and is still going.


  • Lunokhod Sent by the Soviet Union, Lunokhod 1 was the first remote-controlled vehicle sent off the Earth.
  • Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle, also called a moon buggy, sent by NASA during the Apollo program, it was driven by astronauts.

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Rover (space exploration) Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.