A project of more than 15 nations, the International Space Station (ISS) is designed to an inhabited satellite orbiting the Earth. With the initial parts of the station completed in 1998, the station was finally deployed with a crew of two astronauts-one American and two Russians (NASA, 2010). But after the destruction of the Columbia Space Shuttle in 2003, disintegrating upon re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, NASA was forced to stop construction activities on the ISS as well as cast aspersions on the continuance of the Hubble Space Telescope program.
As a result of the tragedy, ISS construction activities fell years behind schedule (Traci Watson, 2006). Apart from the Columbia tragedy that bought the program to a halt, another issue was the funding requirements of the station. The American space agency discovered that the station’s expenses were more than $5 billion over what was originally alloted for the program. As such, NASA was forced to scale down on the activities for the station, which some of the partners, namely those in Europe and Japan, balked at (NASA, 2010).
More than two decades since its initial launch, the ISS is considered to structurally complete, and is expected to remain in orbit until 2016, when the station is expected to be decommissioned (Joel Achenbach, 2999). Mars Rover and Pathfinder: Differences and Discovery The main mission of the Mars Pathfinder mission, in tribute to the Sagan Memorial Station (AAAS, 1997), is to demonstrate the workability of low cost landings and examination of the Martian lunar surface.
The goal is deemed to be met in the form by communication tests between the lander and the rover, and communications between the lander and Earth, and testing of the sensors and imaging mechanisms of the rover (National Space Science Data Center, 2005). The Mars Exploration Rover Mission, on the other hand, is designed to settle a set of mobile laboratories on the Martian surface, and to conduct fieldwork by the robots on board, namely Spirit and Opportunity. These rovers and see and maneuver around small obstacles and move toward target areas that are chosen by scientists on the basis of the images sent by the rovers (Mars Institute, 2009).
The most significant discovery by the MER was discovered by accident, as the wheels of one of the rovers, Spirit, were inadvertently stuck, and the wheels of the rover continued to spin. This spinning led to the unearthing to soil with a high level of sulfates. These sulfates, usually found near stem vents or hydrothermal bodies of water, suggested that the red planet once held water, and these indications held that the planet may have supported life on its surface (Charles Choi, 2009).