Bibliographic Essay Finalx

thunderclingAI and Robotics

Nov 13, 2013 (3 years and 4 months ago)

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Ms. Phillips

ENC 1101

Jan. 29 2013

The Challenges of Manned Space Exploration


The

approach to space exploration has changed over time due to the continuous
complications and restrictions of manned missions into space. During the ‘Space Race,’
many
countries were
curious as to how we would get a man to the

moon or even Mars. It was expected
that we would be able to do so before the turn of the century
, yet, even in the present the only

successful

missions have been

sending an unmanned rover to
Mars.
Scientists have been
contemplating the advantages and disadvantages of using humans
as the main means of space
exploration for a while now, and most have come to the conclusion that unmanned means of
space exploration are much more practical.
It us
ed to be believed that the advancement of
unmanned space exploration would create more possibilities and opportunities to send humans
into spa
ce; however it now looks like that idea

may

be

abandon
ed

as we develop more advanced
means of unmanned space
exploration.


Although many people were excited by the idea of humans going out into space

at

the
beginning
of the ‘Space Race
,


there were still some who began realizing the disadvantages that
came along with it. Scientists were excited to start explorin
g what they considered the ‘New
Frontier,’ however, many of the missions they proposed were shot down. One scien
tist, Maxwell

Hunter, wrote a paper

in 1967

that explains how using unmanned space exploration methods
may become

more efficient than manned me
thods. One point he makes clear is the budget in
which the space department has to base its projects on. The reason many of the missions
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proposed were shot down was because they simply did not fit the budget.
At that time, Hunter
had already realized ho
w costly it is to s
end humans into space. He tried

to propose the use of
smaller, cheaper unmanned missions into space to prove the validity of those missions and gather
necessary information to create more successful and cheaper manned missions into spac
e.
Hunter says that unmanned missions will help us gain knowledge “…needed to enhance the
success and timeliness of future manned
exploration of the solar system


(Hunter 601).

Even
though it was the norm to be excited about the idea of expanding into and

conquering space by
manned means, Hunter predicted that, in the future, we won’t be able to keep up with the
expenses of sending humans into space.


Recently, unmanned space exploration methods have been use
d more and more often.
From America’s Mars rove
r constantly sending data to the Voyager missions, two

space probe
s
sent out to explore beyond the

solar system, just leaving the solar system itself, it’s apparent that
we have shifted to unmanned or robotic means of space exploration. Chuck Rahls wrote
a
n
article showing the advantages and the disadvantages of this

shift.
Rahls views it as follows,

Unmanned Missions


going where no man has gone before
-

and maybe never will


(Rahls).

With the amount of success unmanned missions have had compared to manned missions, this
statement may be true. Many scientist
s

have deemed manned missions such as the International
Space Station project (ISS)

as, “
expensive and unprodu
ctive means to do s
pace science


(Rahls).
As Hunter had proposed back in 1967, it has become very expensive to send humans into space.
For every manned space launch, two to three unmanned missions could be funded. Therefore,
scientists
have begun researching int
o improvin
g the robotic systems
use
d

in
space.
One
upcoming mission scientist are excited about is the James Webb Space telescope, which is
expected to be even more powerful than the Hubble.

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Despite the

fact that it’s more expensive,
Rahls also goes on to explain
how using
humans in space may have an advantage over robots. One main advantage humans have is the
way

the brain

pro
cesses

information
. While computers are able to process large amounts of data,
they are unable to pick out what is useless information and

what should be followed up on. It’s
up to the scientist receiving the information to shift through it and find what they need. If a
human team was sent into the field of whatever is being studied in space, they would be able to
find what’s important and

run tests on that specifically. Robotic exploration equipment is also
unable to make repairs or recalibrate themselves based on what’s needed leading to many
problems while scientists try using the equipment from Earth.
However,

an

article

recently

rele
ased by NASA (National Aerona
utics and Space Administration)
explains the cur
rent
research being conducted

on developing AI (Artificial Intelligence) units to conduct experiments
and navigate their

own

way through space. While Hunter was looking at unmann
ed space
exploration as a means to open the door for manned exploration, it seems that scientist are now
looking at unmanned exploration as a permanent replacement for manned exploration.

As more and more of the

Earth’s resources are being used up, scient
ists and world leaders
are looking into space for answers. Whether the goal is to colonize a nearby planet or to bring

those resources back to Earth, there is still
a lot of progress that needs to be made so
preparations
can be made for that time
.
The wa
y
space is explored

needs to be as efficient as possible so
answers can be found as soon as possible
. It’s a problem when scientists are baffled by the
information they receive from space. A lot of the information is the exact opposite
,

or something
scie
ntists neve
r even thought could happen. Knowledge

beyond that of just our world
,

or solar
system
,

is needed
, and if unmanned spac
e exploration will lead the way, it’s important to begin
really developing
methods to provide the
efficiency needed.

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Work
s

Cited

Hunter, M. W. “Unmanned Scientific Exploration Throughout the Solar System.”
Space

Science Reviews

6.5 (1967): 601
-
602.
Harvard.edu
. Web. 20 Jan. 2013.

Rahls, Chuck. “Unmanned vs. Manned Space Exploration” Parts 1+2. (2005).
Phys.org
.

Web. 24 Jan.

2013.

Truszkowski, Walter,
et al
. “Autonomous and

automatic systems: A Paradigm for Future space

exploration missions.”
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics


Part C:
Applications and Reviews
36.
3 (2003).
IEEEXplore
. Web. 20 Jan. 2013