Argument: Robotic missions to Mars are equally effective as manned ones
Jazz Shaw. "Robots Should Go Where Man Hesitates." Pajamas Media. July 20, 2009: "Robotic exploration delivers countless advantages. It is true that there will always be situations where a live human being will be able to adapt and think through situations which would leave a machine crippled in the dust. But have we done so badly with the robots currently in service? Two rovers on Mars are still trundling along, dragging disabled wheels and running on low power due to dust covered solar panels, but performing their mission years beyond initial projections. Also, unmanned missions are free of the burden of delivering air, food, water, and all of the other requirements for keeping humans alive. They weigh less, cost less, and can take all the time they need to arrive at their destination."
"TNR Flashback: The Case For Exploring Mars." The Plank, The New Republic. July 17th, 2009: "One objection to a manned mission to Mars is that robotic craft could do the job just as well at a fraction of the cost--a compelling argument as we watch the Spirit rover successfully bound (or rather inch) over the surface of the Red Planet. On January 10, The Washington Post's editors wrote, 'The success of NASA's latest Mars venture has proved the worth of unmanned missions, while manned space flight is exorbitantly expensive.' The Los Angeles Times approvingly quoted physicist and space guru James Van Allen as saying that we could explore Mars with robots 'at far less cost and far greater quantity and quality of results.' Or, as Will Marshall, president of the Progressive Policy Institute, bluntly summed it up, 'There's no real rationale for a manned space program.'"
"Joe Buff: Men from Mars?" Military.com. February 6, 2004: "what about the scientific value of such an expedition? I answer your question with a question: Yeah, what about it? What can men do on Mars that robotic space probes can't do much more safely and more cheaply? This issue requires a lot of careful and objective study before we jump on the bandwagon of another, possibly misbegotten, space race to get somewhere just for the sake of getting there."