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Why Space Exploration Is A Job For Humans

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <post.nul>
Date: Sat, 07 Apr 2012 08:05:11 -0400
Archived: Sat, 07 Apr 2012 08:05:11 -0400
Subject: Why Space Exploration Is A Job For Humans

Source: The Atlantic Home


Apr 4 2012

Why Space Exploration Is A Job For Humans
By Jared Keller

The conventional wisdom of space exploration suggests that
robotic probes are both more scientifically efficient and cost
effective. Not so, argues a professor of planetary science.

Astronaut Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, poses beside
the deployed flag of the United States during the Apollo XI moon
landing July 20, 1969. [Reuters]

When the Space Shuttle Atlantis rolled to a stop in July 2011,
NASA bid farewell to the nation's symbol of manned spaceflight.
The Obama administration has scrapped NASA's plan to return
humans to the Moon by 2020, which was behind schedule because of
technical and budgetary problems. As financial constraints
threaten the possibility of future ventures into outer space,
many in the astronomical community are advocating for the
increased use of unmanned robotic space, arguing that they will
serve as more efficient explorers of planetary surfaces than
astronauts. The next giant leap, then, will be taken with
robotic feet.

Dr. Ian A. Crawford thinks it should be otherwise. A professor
of planetary sciences at Birkbeck College, London, Crawford
makes the case for human space exploration in a new paper
entitled Dispelling the myth of robotic efficiency: why human
space exploration will tell us more about the Solar System than
will robotic exploration alone, published recently in the
journal Astronomy and Geophysics. If the goal of space travel is
to expand our knowledge of the universe, argues Dr. Crawford,
exploration will be most effective when carried out by
astronauts rather than robots on the surface of a planet.

At the core of Crawford's argument...

[More at site... thanks to Diana Cammack for the lead]

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