National Public Radio's Weekend America producer Ocean Kaylan delivered a moving tribute to the Phoenix Mars Lander today.
...Now, I'm not a marshmallow. I like math and science. When the fox catches the rabbit, I get the circle of life thing. But space exploration seems pure to me in a way that little else does. I believe in the Constitution but I'm skeptical of government. I believe in a higher power but I'm skeptical of religion. I believe in beauty but I'm skeptical of "art."
I think when I find something believable, something pure, something honest, I can't help but love it. And when something I love dies, even if it's just servos and wire, I feel it.
Phoenix, you weren't ever going to make us rich. You weren't going to produce any product to sell. You weren't going to give us some new power. All you were doing was gathering data to help answer very small parts of very big questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? How does our universe work?