After 1000 days on Mars, the Spirit rover has covered an area smaller than Disney World, according to Brent Garry, a research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute, as reported in Air and Space magazine.

The rover’s total trek covers the distance from the park’s main entrance to Space Mountain – which most Disney visitors manage before noon.

This comparison should be brought up whenever the unmanned space mafia starts to opine on the supposed greater efficiency robots.  Garry does not mention that obvious conclusion, which is perhaps too politically incorrect for the polite circles in which planetary scientists move.

We don’t have any research grants, so we can afford to speak heresy. In the long run, we believe, human exploration will win out. That’s because the debate is generally framed in the wrong terms. It’s not really man versus machine — no one has seriously proposed sending  an explorer in his skivvies. It’s man working together with machines — the best of both worlds — that will win out.

Written by Astro1 on July 26th, 2012 , Space Exploration (General)

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