Thursday, 5 November 2009

Ares Boldly Goes

Ethan at Starts With a Bang has a great post up about just how spectacular NASA's first new rocket in over 30 years is. Videos of the test launch, which took place on 28 October 2009, has been circulating on Youtube:

But why spend all this money on sending humans into space, it is dangerous, and relatively pointless, and robots can do so well without us there. Well firstly there is at present a limit to what robots can do either on there own or with our help, problems such as they are generally designed with a specific purpose, where as a human in the same situation is much more versatile.

But the most important reason is that on this pale blue dot of ours there is a limited amount of resources and indeed time. At some point or another in the next 4 or so billion years that it has remaining, the Earth will no longer be able to support us and we will need to be somewhere else if our species is to survive. To that end we need to now begin the efforts of seeding the stars with populations of Humans (and for that matter cattle and grains etc. you know things that we will need to survive).

So by all means use the robots to find out where we can go and how we can get there and what we will find when we get there, but remember that the Earth is the cradle of humanity and one cannot stay in the cradle forever.


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