Åsmund Skjæveland (from FIX) wrote this on his weblog some time ago. I think it is a nice round-up of our long-gone debate on the whole "WHOA! NASA’s on Mars!" ordeal;
"More future. Big deal. Our space program amounts to… driving remote-controlled little buggys on Mars. Where are the space elevators? Where are the wheels? Where are the lunar bases? Where are the far-side telescopes? Where, oh, where, are the death stars? This future sux."
The problems start right out of the box. I’m normally a fan of extensive documentation, but the rover’s 14,000-page manuals and contingency instructions felt excessive for the casual gamer. Especially for a mission that’s basically derivative of the old Lunar Lander videogame from the 70s. It’s as if NASA was looking for a way to justify the 800-million-dollar-plus retail price (yes, it’s even more expensive than Steel Battalion for the Xbox). "Look guys," I said, chucking a heavy binder to the floor, "this isn’t rocket science."
The JPL guys shifted uncomfortably. "Yes … it is," they replied.