The soft landing of Curiosity Rover on Mars is an incredible technical achievement, possibly the greatest one of this year--for the world, not just for the United States. I admit to being worried about the landing phase of the mission. There were so many possibilities for failure.
There are some who grumble about an unmanned robotic Mars mission versus a macho high-cost 'feet on the ground' one. I say so what. The days of test pilots and political performances using blank government checks are long gone.
NASA has proved once again that it can do well on a restricted budget and can still provide superior value. It would be nice for NASA to have more funds, and maybe given their recent success rate, they may get them.
I'm not holding my breath. Unfortunately, today it seems there are many in Congress who fear science and technology and who would rather subsidize rich multinational companies to exploit our shrinking base of natural resources.