Nearly two-thirds of the attempts to land on
Mars were failures. Only one in the three last attempts succeeded.
Bucking those odds, NASA scored a major victory in space exploration Saturday night when golf cart-size Spirit bounced to a safe landing as a prelude to major exploration on the Red Planet. ...
The accuracy with which Spirit landed is a boost to NASA's prestige after the last shuttle tragedy. While Spirit is unmanned, it is a much more difficult mission than getting humans into and out of Earth orbit safely. The consequences of failure, however, are not comparable.
Still, NASA is on an incredible mission, and one that will grow even more exciting if and when the companion rover, Opportunity, touches down Jan. 24 on the opposite side of the planet.
The Decatur (Ala.) Daily
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