A U.S. spacecraft named Spirit is to land on Mars this week. It is to be followed in three weeks by an identical spacecraft named Opportunity, that is to land in a different location. Once on Mars they are to deploy rovers to search for water to determine if the cold, barren planet could once have harbored simple life forms. But the mission is fraught with risks.
If we have a reasonable amount of luck this could be a fantastic way to start 2004.