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Spacefaring: Our Real Prospects for Homesteading Off-Earth?

10 Aug 2009, 15:32 UTC
Spacefaring: Our Real Prospects for Homesteading Off-Earth?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

"Our Nearest Neighbor" Source: NASA

Judging the prospects for human settlement beyond Earth requires assessment of elements such as; the rationale for, the technical, biological and social readiness for, the political will for, and the funding resources available, for doing so. I focus here primarily on the rationale for and technical and biological capabilities for human settlement. Even that is a large topic. Also, I fully acknowledge the advisability of using, as possible, advanced robotics with the “virtual presence” and remote manipulation they can provide to assist in all aspects of human settlement. It is envisioned that they will be the initial explorers and risk analysis agents that preceed humans. Subsequently, when teamed with humans, they can help create the infrastructure to support people and robots in a very challenging environment and greatly facilitate space commercialization opportunities and applications. However, robotics will have to be addressed later.
A common view within space advocacy groups and the human exploration elements of NASA is that “spacefaring” on a space platform traveling for months beyond Earth, a large asteroid or another planet like the Moon would logically occur in stages which can help us operationally define this vague term. The first would be ...

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