Wednesday, 28 June 2006

Human and Robotic Space Exploration

That appears to be the ideal. A combination of both.

From the Royal Astronomical Society :
After 9 months of expert consultation and gathering of evidence from many sources, the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) Commission assigned to investigate “The Scientific Case for Human Space Flight” has presented its final report to the Society’s Council.

The three independent Commissioners conclude by recommending that the British Government re-evaluates its long-standing opposition to involvement in human space exploration.

In summarising their findings, the Commissioners state: “We find that profound scientific questions relating to the history of the solar system and the existence of life beyond Earth can best – perhaps only - be achieved by human exploration on the Moon or Mars, supported by appropriate automated systems.
Professor Frank Close, Chair of the Commission, said, “We commenced this study without preconceived views and with no formal connection to planetary exploration. Our personal backgrounds made us lean towards an initial scepticism on the scientific value of human involvement in such research.

“However, while fully recognising the technical challenge and the need for substantial investment, we have, nevertheless, been persuaded by the evidence presented to us that the direct involvement of humans in situ is essential if we are to pursue science of profound interest to humankind that can only be undertaken on the Moon and Mars. Autonomous robots alone will be unable to realise those scientific goals in the foreseeable future.”
Read on, and you'll see they come to the conclusion that once you have a permanent base going, then you can do a lot more.

But quick there'n'back'again trips won't hack it. We need a Moonbase, and a colony at least as permanent as the scientific research bases in Antarctica.

Hat Tip : Cumudgeon's Corner

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are so right. What's more having brick and mortar facilities on mars or the moon will anchor us there. It will not be so easy to abandon the investment we have made.

The only thing we should have robots doing on Mars or the Moon is building the base for us. (Not sure how that would work but I am sure It could be done.)