Robotic Mission vs Manned Mission

Topics: Space exploration, Human spaceflight, Spaceflight Pages: 4 (1343 words) Published: December 14, 2011
Opinion Piece #1
It is my opinion that if given a choice between a robotic and a manned space based exploration, it is better to execute a robotic mission. It is not worth the cost and risk for humans to simply explore space, except when the goal is specifically colonization. First, a manned mission would be much more technically complicated than a robotic one outweighing any incremental benefit resulting from a human presence. Second, the financial cost of manned missions to overcome the complications is not worth the projected costs. Third, funding robotic missions are indirect investments in aiding the current human condition. That is, the cost saving from robot missions could help relieve current issues here on earth. Lastly, pushing the boundaries of the unknown will always be fascinating to humans, but we would be pushing current human boundaries to explore much further past the moon, with our current technology. Advancements in robot technology can allow us to take the next step in advanced space missions. Some would argue the opposite; some would say that manned missions are essential to quench our curiosity and thirst for uncovering the unknown, our desperate search for answers about the universe, and to find life beyond our planet. There are specific advantages to robotic exploration over human space missions. Space is a dangerous place for humans in many ways; there are many factors working against long term human space travel. There is harsh radiation, zero gravity and the element of time to consider. Radiation, in form of cosmic rays (high energy particles) and other high-energy radiation emitted from our sun, breaks down DNA in our bodies (0), leads to major complications, and poses the largest threat to human space travel. Extended zero gravity exposure leads to bone destiny loss and weakened organs because our physiology evolved having gravity. Time is also a factor against human space travel; we simply cannot go fast enough and live...
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