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The 1-ton Curiosity rover rolled past the mark on Wednesday (July 17), when a 125-foot (38 meters) drive brought its total odometry to 1.029 km (3,376 feet), NASA officials said.
"When I saw that the drive had gone well and passed the kilometer mark, I was really pleased and proud," rover driver Frank Hartman, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement. "Hopefully, this is just the first of many kilometers to come."
Curiosity is in the early stages of a long trek to the base of Mount Sharp, which rises 3.4 miles (5.5 km) into the Red Planet sky. The targeted foothills lie about 5 miles (8 km) from Curiosity's current location as the crow flies, and it will likely take the six-wheeled robot — which has a top speed of 0.09 mph (0.14 km/h) — about a year to cover the ground, mission team members have said.
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