Early this morning, NASA returned to Mars. The space agency already has three vehicles on the red planet; Sojourner, which landed in 1997 and only successfully operated for about two months. Spirit landed in 2004 and communication was lost in March of 2010. Opportunity also landed in 2004 and is still operating.

But the Curiosity landing of early this morning was an unprecedented success for NASA. Mostly because the vehicle has some of the most sophisticated equipment ever deployed on Mars, and the landing was anything from a sure thing, so there was a collective sigh of relief and cheers of jubilation when the vehicle safely touched down.

The goals of the mission are to not only further study the landscape and makeup of Mars, but also to establish plans for a possible future human trip to Mars.

Also unprecedented though, was the cost of the mission, around $2.5 billion (yes, that's billion, with a "b") But, something worth keeping in mind; from the water filter in your fridge to the memory foam mattress you may sleep on, NASA space missions have helped develop dozens of technologies that many of us use every day.

So here's today's question - do you think it's money well spent by the government? Vote on our poll below and feel free to comment as well!


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