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If You’re Gonna Copy… May 21, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in inventions, sci-fi, science, science fiction, sense of wonder, space.

…at least steal something good. Project M lacks funding but is eerily similar to the Japanese program to put a humanoid robot on the Moon I mentioned a while back. What’s the point? Send robots designed for specific tasks. Humans are designed to be ok at a lot of things and not tops at much of anything except solving problems. That’s all in the brain, not the arms and legs. Wheels and backhoes work better for those specific tasks of getting around on lunar dust and digging down to see what’s there. (Opportunity just finished its 6th year on Mars and has travelled 12 miles.).

All this is designed to do is make us feel like we’re doing something when we have abrogated our real mission of sending astronauts Out There. Phooey.

Somehow, the idea of sending the humanoid robot to the Moon reminded me of the old Twilight Zone episode (“Steel” by Richard Matheson) with Lee Marvin and the robot boxer. He’s a human fighter but only rock’em-sock’em humanoid robots fight now. He pretends to be a robot to stay in the ring fighting because that’s what he does.

What are the (1950’s pulp fiction) chances of a stowaway by pretending to be that Lunabot? None, of course, but still… If Lee Marvin could go toe to toe with a robot, hope springs eternal.

Misguided is about all I can say about NASA and the space program. Let’s get that money moved to the companies where real exploration might be done–and by real I mean with astronauts putting footprints in alien soil.

(Pretty nifty that the Japanese have a solar sail mission going to Venus!)



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