Humans vs, Robots in space

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mdg (June 17, 2008, 17:29:25 PM):
Hi ‘Luthon64,

I guess I did go off on a bit of a tangent, astronomy is one of my passions and I do tend to get carried away sometimes – I’m a geek, what can I say?

;D ;D ;D

Mefiante (June 17, 2008, 21:32:16 PM):
Er, I merely meant to clarify my remark. The last thing on my mind was to rain on anyone’s parade, so I’m sorry if that’s the impression I gave. In any case, it is good, even wonderful, to be geeky and passionate about some things, especially awe at the universe in its magnificent diversity and resilience, unencumbered by assorted mystical impedimenta. That way lies true humanness, I think.

Tweefo (June 18, 2008, 18:52:13 PM):
OK, it is not just the Americans who can go to space and show off. The ISS is an international waste of money. What happened a while ago when the toilet did not work? One word - shit - describe it. The Hubble problem was fixed but only because it was designed to be serviced. Most satellites are not so designed, it will be in most cases be more expensive to fix them, than to replace them. A manned base on the Moon? What for? There is nothing there, although a large telescope on the far side would be handy. As for going to Mars: problems. On Mars you are going to be frayed by solar radiation. No Ozone and no magnetic field to protect you, and you have to stay there at least 3 years. Just one fatal accident brought the the shuttle program to a halt for something like two years. Robots can only do what they are designed to do but they are getting better. Rand for Rand (Dollars) we can learn far more with robots than with humans. And I am also quite passionate about astronomy 8)
Wandapec (June 18, 2008, 21:23:04 PM):
A manned base on the Moon? What for?

Here are some different views of why we should go/are going to the moon -

Why we are going to the moon?
10 reasons to put Humans back on the moon.

Although all those reasons presented are inconsequential because we all know what really happened back in the day! -

bluegray (June 19, 2008, 13:17:51 PM):
That last link does not work for me - all I get is a vimeo logo...

I agree with Tweefo. As much as I would love to go to the moon and mars myself, I don't think it is something we should spend resources on (yet). Some of the better reasons to go there have to do with humanity and our place in space and how we see ourselves, which are important. But there are other areas that could use those resources more, and would arguably benefit humanity more that sending humans to mars. The practical reasons could much better be handled by robots.
I mostly agree with the following from Bob Park:

We need to grow up and be realistic. Ego and 'I was here first' are not good reasons to waste money on. We will no doubt go to the moon and mars or even beyond eventually, but maybe now is not the time.

BTW experiments like the LIFE experiment mdg mentioned is a good example of why we don't really need the ISS. While an interesting project, ISS proved to be not as useful as some people imagined, it is costing a lot of money and not giving much in return. Experiments can be performed for much cheaper.


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