SCIENCE

Why Send Humans To Space When We Can Send Robots?

06/27/2015 11:38 pm ET | Updated Jun 27, 2015
Origins Project at Arizona State University

We live in an exciting era. For the first time in half a century, we are embroiled in another great space race. With each passing day our understanding of ourselves and our universe allows for massive innovations in the fields of science and technology, such as computers that are learning to program themselves or developing cures for medical scourges of humanity like cancer or AIDS.

In the midst of these breakthroughs, it can be difficult to step back and approach such developments not only with a sense of wonder, but also with a critical eye. Perhaps the most crucial question of our times is: “At what cost?” It’s a question which despite its importance is nevertheless asked far too infrequently. Going to space is great, of course. But what does it mean for the future of humanity when the exploration of the final frontier is subject solely to the whims of corporations? Our scientific breakthroughs are undoubtedly astounding. But who is funding them and what are their motives?

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