AS opposed to what? Having an article written about in a science journal about another planet that no one cares about, just to dick measure? Let's face it, there's not much in space exploration at this moment that is anything more than pure entertainment, machine or non-machine. Getting an exact date on the end of the universe isn't going to change anything, and in any case, even if the universe did end, there's not a damn thing we can do about it anyway. So in essence, you argument of sending machines to gather content for your entertainment is no more valid than someone who wants people on the red planet. But, if we keep sending people out there, we will figure out a way to do it less expensively, and there's plenty of people that would go, simply because the earth is too big of a pain in the rear for them.