Robots are a better, cheaper and safer option

It can be said that sending people into space is a victory for the human imagination, a scientific achievement and an engineering marvel in every sense of the word, but to what extent do we really have the presence of people in space? necessary? While the efforts of the astronauts improve our understanding of the universe, and their journeys inspire young people in their specialties, when it comes to exploration, robots surpass them and do so at a much lower cost and without life-threatening risks, according to the Emirati statement.

Martin Rees, a British astronomer, and Donald Goldsmiths, an American astrophysicist, who published a book called The Astronauts’ End: Why Robots Shape the Future of Space Exploration, argue that the cost of human space travel greatly outweighs its benefits. weighs heavier, and that Robots become more capable in space, while human bodies would not.

Up to this point, if we send a probe to Mars, it will not be able to detect the craters, but in 10 to 20 years, artificial intelligence that makes machines look at about 100,000 x-rays will determine it better than humans, and with that kind of technology, they will not People are needed, and then there is the very high cost, except to remember that the shuttle launches failed twice out of 135, and while a robot can spend almost six months en route to Mars do not use anything, for that trip one needs regular air And protection from solar storms and other health effects, such as the effect of zero gravity on people for a long time.

On the other hand, with some people willing to go at their own expense, there may be collisions, if not with human vehicles, with satellites we continue to sit there, and space will only be for adventurers, though the possibility of a limited human colony by the end of the century.

Vehicle range

By quoting their book, the British magazine Wired reported that humans were able to place a semi-autonomous rover on Mars, one of a continuous series of orbiting and landing vehicles, which included cameras and tools to explore Martian soil and tracks around obstacles to find, and was unable to do a previous investigation as to.

She noted that since the Apollo 17 spacecraft left the moon in 1972, astronauts have traveled no further than a low-Earth orbit, and in this area their greatest achievements were with the five Hubble Telescope recovery missions, which extended its life for decades by providing improved cameras and systems Other, all these missions cost about one billion dollars, while the cost of the Hubble Telescope was another billion dollars, and one estimate has the cost of the five recovery missions determined at the expense of the construction of seven replacement telescopes.

Astrophysicists have also succeeded in sending all their space-bearing observatories four times farther from the moon, while the James Webb Telescope prepares to study a series of cosmic objects; In return, the robots visited all the planets of the sun (including Pluto), in addition to comets and an asteroid, where they provided large amounts of data about them and their moons, such as “Europe” for Jupiter and “Enceladus” for Saturn. .


With the increase in the capabilities of robots and the scientific importance of their discoveries, the cost will be much less than a single human journey, the latter of which will remain impossible in the next few decades, except perhaps the moon and Mars.

And in 2020, NASA unveiled “20 achievements of 20 years of science aboard the International Space Station”, 17 of which can be performed by robots, such as the launch of small satellites, the discovery of cosmic particles, the use of micro-gravity states to drug developing, studying flames and 3D printing.In space, the remaining three missions dealt with muscle atrophy and osteoporosis, growing food or identifying microbes in space, things that are important to people in that area, but hardly makes a rationale to send him into space.

As for why many people think that space exploration is the domain of human explorers and not robots? The book firstly refers to tradition: from Marco Polo to Yuri Gagarin and Neil Armstrong was the perception that discovery requires the direct participation of people, then secondly there was a factor in that the possibilities and possibilities of communicating with people are more stable than those of machines, and thirdly, a love of adventure. Human-guided space is a source of inspiration, as children imagine them entering space and increasing their interest in science, and they also receive constant stimulation from space movies.

Property rights provide a great impetus, as modern nations seem ready to assert their claims on parts of the moon, especially above the “peak of eternal light” near the moon’s south pole, where the sun’s rays always shine, and competition closes the establishment of lunar colonies or the exploitation of the moon.

With ownership comes the desire for revolution, as entrepreneurs dream of obtaining rare and useful materials from the rare isotope helium to rare earth elements that are only available from a few places, mainly in China, that have become essential for products such as cell phones, electric cars, fighter jets, and especially, With the exception of helium-3 buried in lunar soil, some asteroids offer more promising opportunities for such mining.

Regardless of the standpoint on issues of property and revolution, it can be successfully carried out using machines, and this also applies to scientific activities such as building a telescope much more efficiently and cheaply than people on the other side of the Moon.

But in the foreseeable future, between 10 years or more, human adventures in space will not be a routine tourism, the space shuttle has crashed twice from 135 launches, and the risk of death is about 2%, but private adventurers would love to accept this adventure There will even be volunteers for one-way trips to Mars, realizing that scientific discoveries and the construction of large structures and technologies in space can be made more cost-effective and efficient by robots without any danger to human lives. .

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