Robot explorers in space

This is the kind of story that could either get you real excited about space science, or instead cause alarm to Luddites and Butlerian Jihadists (a concept from the Dune books). Autonomous robotic exploration has great potential for space programs and especially for planetary geology. It might provide a means to conduct complex searching and sample collection on another planet, say Mars, without requiring human guidance or intervention.

I think some form of this or at least the idea is already part of the hazard avoidance system on the Mars Exploration Rovers.

Intelligent Robots Will Explore Milky Way by 2020

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2 Responses to “Robot explorers in space”

  1. The Milky way by 2020 is a bit optimistic but a like their vision. We’ll be lucky if they have the sequal to the new Star Trek out by then. All kidding
    aside, I’m afraid that our space program is something more than a joke and less than serious. Combine that with the astronomical costs of just getting a new spacecraft off of the ground and heading to a new destination and you’re looking at 2050 at the least. Maybe if we stop funding high tech war machines and fat fu@& politicians we might have a chance at truly being a nation heading into the 21st century and the final frontier with both eyes open. Whaddya think?

  2. iyokobat Says:

    We better get going soon. The universe is expanding.

    I don’t think the article made any claims that robots would conquer the milky way by 2020, but if they launch one by then, does that count?

    Maybe uploading a bitchen AI algorithm to one of the Voyagers and redirect it toward alpha Centaurus. That way we at least get a 30 year jump on the interstellar voyage. 😎

    Note: “Voyager 1 is not heading towards any particular star, but in about 40,000 years it will be within 1.6 light years of the star AC+79 3888 in the Camelopardalis constellation.” (Wikipedia)

    I wish the private space industry were doing better. NASA and ESA can’t do it all.

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