I hate the idea of de-funding NASA and think we shoud pouring more money into the sciences and pushing our great thinkers to do more and give them more resources. However 2.6 Billion for a single rover that won't live more than two years that comes from an agency known as much for its catastrophic screw ups as it is for its achievements. We are a country that is close to a debt crisis, can we afford to be spending billioinds on a space odessy when we can't afford to pay our own bills at the moment?CNN) -- Hey Mars! We're back! Hope you don't mind if we cruise around in our scientific SUV to grab some historic data and snap some breathtaking images. Oh, and we might do some Martian doughnuts in your front yard.
Now that the Mars rover Curiosity is safely parked, NASA's unmanned planet crawler appears ready to roll. A car salesman would have a ball selling this beauty. It's loaded with an array of sophisticated cameras, a "rocker bogie" suspension, a robotic arm, 2 gigs of flash memory, a rock-vaporizing laser (!!!!) and a plutonium-fueled power system. It operates by remote control from millions of miles away and has a blazing top speed of 1.5 inches per second.
Sticker price (including delivery): $2.6 billion.