Opportunity looks back on its now empty lander

In the year 2004, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States of America sent two remote-controlled rovers to Mars, hoping to discover traces of water on the barren desert surface of that planet. From a scientific and political point of view, it was uncertain whether the mission could be justified, however from a poetic point of view it was an unqualified success. On 3 March 2004 the Astronomy Picture of the Day website posted a picture taken from Opportunity, one of the Mars rovers, back towards the remains of the vehicle that had transported it to the surface. The caption included a phrase so perfect that its creation is itself sufficient to justify each of the billions of dollars spent in the history of space exploration.