The article compares the merits of manned and unmanned robotic missions into space. Robotic missions are cheaper; manned missions capture the public's imagination but they're expensive and risky. Some argue that manned missions are critical to the success of the space program. "The heart of the debate is this: robotic machines will only do what they are programmed to do; they are not programmed to detect weirdness: the unimaginable, the unknown, the strange non-carbon life that we may have encountered on Mars"
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