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Who needs humans?

27 Dec 2013, 22:59 UTC
Who needs humans?
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This is in response to Quantum G's question "Why do humans need to return to the Moon to get resources to make "consumables and propellant", if robots can be sent to do that instead?"Just let autonomous and/or teleoperated robots do all the work. Who needs humans?Quantum G should try working in an actual mine. As an ASU student, I spent four summers working in the Phelps Dodge copper mine in Ajo, Arizona. At the top of every bulletin board was Murphy's Law: "What Can Go Wrong, Will." And that was followed by many variations and corollaries of Murphy's Law.Unlike a factory floor, mines are an uncontrolled, unpredictable environment. The unexpected can and does happen. When it does, human ingenuity is called for. You cannot write algorithms that anticipate every unforeseen problem.Not that I'm against robots. SeePuppets, Telerobots & James Cameron,Surgical Robots, andGive NASA's SLS money to DARPA.I believe improved robotics will be a major game changer when it comes to exploitation of space resources.The moon is more amenable to tele robots than most locations in our solar system. At 384,400 kilometers from earth's surface, light lag latency is only 3 seconds. Since signal strength falls with inverse square of distance, ...

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