When NASA's Opportunity rover launched on July 7th, 2003, expectations were modest. It would spend 90 Martian days exploring soil and rock samples and taking panoramas of the Red Planet; anything else would be a bonus. Nearly ten years after its initial shift was up, Opportunity is still going strong.
Back in 1969, the Apollo 11 mission put mankind on the moon. It was a massive accomplishment. Two years later, though, people were getting bored. 40 years ago today, it become the moon buggy's job to make space fun again.