Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Astronaut or Robot?

The New York Times has an article titled, Is Manned Space Flight Obsolete?
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. Instead, the administration will focus on developing new technologies to make long-distance space travel cheaper and faster, with astronaut trips to the Moon, asteroids and Mars possible in the future.

Is this shift of priorities the right path to take? Why go to the expense, effort and risk of using astronauts when unmanned machines can do so much? Or are there benefits to human space exploration that can’t be achieved with robots?

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