Exploration risks lives

NASA is still recovering human remains from the Columbia disaster.

Human space exploration is an unnecessary risk that must stop. Lives are risked every time a shuttle goes into outer space.

The men and women who go into space have families.

Instead of sending someone’s brother or sister to explore the great unknown, NASA should use robots.

After the Columbia accident, Kennedy Space Center Director Roy Bridges said, “The conquest of space is worth the risk of life.”

How in the world could he say that? No human life is worth that risk.

A robot is expendable. People’s lives are not.

If something goes wrong, NASA can always replace a robot but humans are irreplaceable.

NASA wants to explore Mars. That’s one of the reasons they built the International Space Station.

But the terrain on planets like Mars is too dangerous for humans to tread. Humans are not able to explore such places without tremendous risk. Robots, however, can withstand those conditions.

When astronauts go on space missions, the most important thing on NASA’s scientists’ minds is getting them safely to earth. Obviously they realize the importance of those astronauts.

If robots replace living, breathing astronauts, a loss or catastrophic mission like Columbia would not be as bad.

NASA can engineer robots to adapt to the landscapes of other planets and withstand harsh environments.

NASA’s main goal is to further mankind’s knowledge of our universe. To further this goal, space exploration certainly must change.

There are some benefits from such excursions; however, they must not come at the expense of even one human life.

Dominique Drake for The Famuan.