Conservatives are lauding this. Says Adam Keiper in the National Review Online, “the president is going to give NASA what it needs most: a vision worthy of America.” Whether or not they are genuine, these sentiments may reflect an emerging consensus that America’s space efforts need to be focused less on hauling stuff into orbit (read, “Space Shuttle”) and more on exploring new worlds (read, “Mission to Mars”). Captain Kirk can’t be that far behind after all.
With the successful landing of the “Spirit” spacecraft rover on Mars, we are once again, at long last, treated to the thrill of NASA getting it right. The rover beat dismal odds and landed inside an ancient Connecticut-sized crater on the planet late Saturday night. The touchdown sparks the most ambitious search yet for life on Mars and has the potential to reinvigorate NASA, which has come under stinging criticism for a string of failures.It’s especially delightful since the British/EU probe “Beagle” still has not responded from the Martian surface, suggesting it was destroyed on entry.