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NASA's Orion Spacecraft: 9 Facts
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Harold_the_Wolf
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Harold_the_Wolf,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/21/2014 | 3:37:15 PM
No advanced propulsion?
So no Plasma or Ion engines or even a solar sail? This just looks like an oversized Appolo craft with 2005 electronic technology and 1960's propulsion.
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
7/21/2014 | 2:48:33 PM
Re: Visiting asteroids
I doubt it. As powerful and as flexible as robotic systems are now, never mind by then, I still feel that machines can't do what people do best, and that's innovate and react to unanticipated situations. Asteroids are far enough out into space that speed-of-light delays will significant, so I'm confident that humans on-site will be a necessity.
tka2013
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tka2013,
User Rank: Strategist
7/21/2014 | 12:26:26 PM
Re: Humans in space
I for one would be disappointed should we seriously consider stopping sending human astronauts into space.  Jointly or following advanced scouting missions by AI is acceptable, but it is something more grand that speaks to our imagination and enthusiasm when it is a human doing the exploring.
Banacek
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Banacek,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/21/2014 | 11:53:05 AM
Re: Visiting asteroids
Whoopty, it isn't about the time to develop and test. There's also the concern over solar radiation.

The chips used in space have to be hardened against radiation manipulation, and also use good enough check-bits and the like to make sure computations and data are not corrupted. The smaller the chips get, the harder it is to prevent such things.

Thus, I think the thought of having an AI working in space is pretty far down the road.
Ariella
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Ariella,
User Rank: Ninja
7/21/2014 | 11:04:46 AM
Re: Visiting asteroids
@SaneIT yes, it is, and there are extensive plans for a space supply chain -- the topic of a blog I wrote that should be pubished soon. One of the things that could prove helpful is 3D printing space, and plans are now set to launch a 3D printer into space in August -- the subject of another upcoming blog of mine.
Whoopty
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Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
7/21/2014 | 10:57:38 AM
Re: Visiting asteroids
The problem there, is that these things take such a long time to develop and test. There's reasons that the Curiosity Rover (launched in 2011) was only mounted with a 2MP camera, despite something as simple as commercial phones running 12MP without a hitch at that point.

The technolgoy needs to be tried and tested over years. Bear in mind too the cost involed. It seems unlikely that an AI system could replace a human in just over 10 years from now, but even if one could, it wouldn't be worth risking the 10s of billions of dollars in planning money on a what-if?


SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/21/2014 | 7:54:56 AM
Re: Visiting asteroids
You have to look at this timeline and wonder how they decide a technology will be ready.  We all hear about the miniscule computing power that the Apollo and even the shuttle missions had on board. NASA seems to be pretty good at hitting objects in space with a minimal amount of technology doing the driving so I don't know that we'll see an advanced AI doing the piloting.  I do think that would be an incredible project though, instead of shooting probes out into space and relaying directions that take days to arrive a fleet of AI driven probes that can turn away from danger or toward things that catch it's attention would be very exciting to watch.
Susan Fourtané
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Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Ninja
7/21/2014 | 2:16:44 AM
Visiting asteroids
How interesting. I recently read about a mission to an asteroid that is supposed to hit the Earth at some point in the future. 

By 2025 maybe robotics and autonomous AI have developed enough to be sent in the missions instead of humans.

-Susan
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