Are astronauts obsolete? MSNBC

No way, says Steve Squyres, the top scientist for the Mars rover missions. You might think Squyres would feel a bit of sympathy with the sentiment expressed in “The Matrix” by Agent Smith, the movie’s virtual-reality villain: “Never send a human to do a machine’s job.” After all, Squyres serves as the principal investigator for the wildly successful robotic Mars adventure, which has lasted a year as of today. But in a recent interview, the Cornell University astronomer said that human exploration has to be a central part of our effort to figure out what’s going on in the universe.