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A few years ago a young girl by the name of Sofi was born in Siberia, a bitterly cold and desolate area of Russia. A difficult place to be a child but Sofi’s life was going to be even rougher than most. She was an orphan. Then suddenly at the age of 2 she was adopted, sight unseen, by Laurie Collis a single mother in Scottsdale, Arizona.

She is now in the third grade and doing well. So well that she entered an essay contest last year and out of 10,000 applicants, she won! Toy maker Lego and The Planetary Society sponsored the event. As a result of winning her family received an all expense paid trip to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to watch the lift off of the Mars Rover.

While there she was asked to read an excerpt from her winning essay. Here is part of it: "I used to live in an orphanage. It was dark and cold and lonely. At night, I looked up at the sparkly sky and felt better. I dreamed I could fly there. In America, I can make all my dreams come true. Thank you for giving me the ’Spirit’ and the ’Opportunity’."

Today on Mars a little robot named Spirit and next week another named Opportunity will be exploring opposite sides of that...

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