From the incomparable Driftglass, a post about the Mars Rover, which he points out is "Operating 3,000% beyond design specification...And run by the Evil Gummint."
I, for one, am always inspired by our efforts in space and feel it's shortsighted to cut back.
Back to Driftglass, who feels the same:
Scientists directing NASA’s Mars Opportunity rover gushed with excitement as they announced that the aging robot has discovered a rock with a composition unlike anything previously explored on the Red Planet’s surface – since she landed on the exotic Martian plains 7.5 years ago – and which offers indications that liquid water might have percolated or flowed at this spot billions of years ago.
Barely three weeks ago Opportunity arrived at the rim of the gigantic 14 mile ( 22 km) wide crater named Endeavour after an epic multi-year trek, and for the team its literally been like a 2nd landing on Mars – and the equivalent of the birth of a whole new mission of exploration at an entirely ‘new’ landing site.
This is what Hope actually looks like: a small helpmate to mankind made by our species with love and exquisite precision, slowing ambling across the surface of an ancient world, enduring so far beyond anyone's wildest dreams as to border on miraculous, and sending back dispatches from the Final Frontier in silent streams of 1s and 0s.
Remind me again how tax cuts and Creationism were responsible for landing this tireless emissary of the human race on Mars?
I continue to think that something from space--an asteroid perhaps, or actual proof of other life--is about the only thing that has any possibility of altering our headlong rush to destroy this planet and ourselves along with it.