At 686.98 days, the Martian orbital year is roughly twice the length of the Earth year, so perhaps we can be forgiven for being jubilant early. as it has not been a full Martian year. However, it has been an Earth year since the Mars rover, Curiosity landed on the red planet, and scientific community is abuzz with excitement with what has been gathered so far. The rover has sent back to Earth over 70000 images and has tested rock samples, the presence of water and methane in its bid to discover signs of past life. All indications are that water has existed, but methane (an emission of organic life). Curiosty's findings are seen as the prelude to the much talked about manned colonisation. (I wouldn't mind myself!)
Of course the debates about the billions spent on the project do surface when this kind of attention is paid to the mission. This counter balances the argument and are very valid. After all we still haven't solved the imbalances on this planet - from poverty, to diseases, lack of opportunity and so on.
Two post from the comments left on the BBC news article about this: