Five years ago the Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers set out on a mission that was expected to last 90 days. These geological Energizer Bunnies are still trucking’ around the Martian surface five years later. During their five years on the planet, the rovers have transmitted over 250,000 images, traveled more than 13 miles, and sent back more than 36GB of data.
This is a remarkable success for NASA’s robotic space exploration program, and emphasizes the dramatic cost-benefits of robotic space exploration over manned space exploration.
I hope the next administration takes note of these accomplishments and the efficacy of robotic space exploration.