Friday, February 23, 2007

Is It Man Or Machine? Michael Laine Enlightens Authentic NASA Toys and Replicas
(Hat Tip: LiftPort, Plus video below)

It seems no matter who you talk to within the space community you will generally find two arguments for going into space--one side is all about science revealing our place in the Universe (via robots) while the other is about populating the Universe (via humans) and charting our own destiny.

Michael Laine from LiftPort seems to have answered this question after being interviewed by Radio Open Source (listen to the audio over here)

Well, one of the things that is at the heart of the man verses robotics question is [...] Is it moon verses Mars? Is it man verses robotics?

It doesn't have to be a one verses the other. [...] If you've got--and thats Elon's goal, and thats my goal, thats everybody in the space communities goal--if you have cheap reliable safe access to space, it doesn't have to be one or against the other.

[W]hat we're looking to do is [...] get [a] better bang for your buck so you don't have to choose.

Humanity owes a huge debt to our robots who have definitely increased our knowledge of the cosmos (not to mention locating valuable resources and notable hazards, all the while snapping beautiful photos).

However, if humanity simply uses robots to explore the universe then our space program will continue to lose interest among the youth which can easily result in its early demise. Adding humans to the mix may not only prove to be quite productive, but actually encourage the public to invest more (or at least justify the expense) into space.

After all, since when was the last time a robot convinced you of the value of exploring the final frontier?

(Video Hat Tip: NASA Watch)

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You can either visit the stars or watch them from afar.

But if you choose the former, you'll definitely get a better view.

~Darnell Clayton, 2007

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