08 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Case for Robotic Space Exploration

In a dispassionate comparison of the relative values of human and robotic spaceflight, the only surviving motivation for continuing human spaceflight is the ideology of adventure. But only a tiny number of Earth's six billion inhabitants are direct participants. For the rest of us, the adventure is vicarious and akin to that of watching a science fiction movie. At the end of the day, I ask myself whether the huge national commitment of technical talent to human spaceflight and the ever-presen...
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Only a tiny percentage of Earthlings get to go into space, for the rest of us it's a vicarious experience.

07 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 Human Space Exploration is Overrated

Perhaps what we should do is genetically engineer new forms of Intelligent life that can survive the stress of space yet still conduct scientific experiments. Actually, such creatures have already been made in the lab. They're called robots. You don't have to feed them, they don't need life support, and they won't get upset if you don't bring them back to Earth. People, on the other hand, generally want to breathe, eat, and eventually come home. It's probably true that no city has ever held...
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We don't remember most of the astronauts, but we do have favorite space photos taken by all the robots we've sent out into the solar system.

02 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Randal Monroe on Space Flight

The universe is probably littered with the one-planet graves of cultures which made the sensible economic decision that there's no good reason to go into space--each discovered, studied, and remembered by the ones who made the irrational decision.
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Envisioning a universe filled with the planetary grave sites of civilizations that did not see the economic worth of space exploration.