By Creighton Anderson
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 2, 1997

Pathfinder mission was a bargain


I must disagree with columnist Ingrid Burger's statement that the Mars Pathfinder mission was a waste of time, energy, and millions of dollars. True, the Mars Pathfinder mission cost millions of dollars (approximately $150 million), but the fee was spread over a large number of people. There are approximately 270 million people currently in the United States, that means that each person paid 55 cents. Fifty-five cents to explore Mars! Is this too much money for each person to take out of their pocket? The truth of the matter is that the Mars Pathfinder mission wasn't a waste of money.

It provided entertainment at a competitive price ( $7 to see a 2 hour movie or 55 cents to see Pathfinder), scientific information, high technology jobs (in terms of the people who built Pathfiinder), a feeling of national as well as college pride (UA built the camera and Peter Smith from the UA was on CNN for the first news conference), and applications that today have yet to be realized. All this for 55 cents.

I suggest that if you really want to save the 55 cents for other programs (you mentioned finding landmines and healthcare), give the money that you would usually spend on a soft drink. Keep Mars.

Creighton Anderson
Material science and engineering junior


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