Awaiting Commands Three generations of Mars rovers, seen at JPL's test site. The small one is the first Mars rover, Sojourner, which landed on Mars in 1997. On the left is a Mars Exploration Rover Project test rover that is a working sibling to Spirit and Opportunity, which landed on Mars in 2004. On the right is a Mars Science Laboratory test rover the size of Curiosity, which is on course for landing on Mars in August. NASA/JPL-Caltech
With Telerobotics, Astronauts Orbit Mars While Robots Explore the Surface -- Popular Science
Humans could avoid the dangers of landing on Mars.
Getting humans to Mars is a challenge in several steps, with the most difficult and dangerous likely to be the descent. Landing safely on another world is hard for a rover, let alone a spacecraft carrying people. But telerobotics could offer a unique alternative — send the people to the planet, but keep them in orbit, and deploy robots to the surface to do the difficult stuff.
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My Comment: You probably can use robots to explore the surface of Mars .... but lets face it .... having a living person is far more "exciting and attention grabbing" than having a machine do it.