Abandon the Idea of Sending Living Bodies into Space
November 19, 2012
I'd like to see us finally understand that we'll get a lot more science done if we abandon the idea of sending living bodies into space. While it is dangerous, it's very expensive. We should spend our time developing ever more capable robots. The argument that people don't pay attention to robots is belied by all of those we've sent to Mars. While an attractive target, the moon is just too dusty. We haven't built a machine that could be maintained long term in those conditions. Let's find out of we can't float a boat on either a water or methane lake and send one, instrumented to the gunwales with cameras we can put into the depths. The Planetary Society should understand that sending men on long term missions is wasteful of our resources and probably cruel.
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.