When Will Our Martian Future Get Here?

I mean I have to agree on this one, when will the Disneylands become a reality?

The robots of tomorrow may take a form we can’t imagine, but through their cameras and sensors, we’ll explore along with them. Building data sets with sufficient detail to image large swaths of Martian terrain at centimeter scales is already happening. One can easily imagine a home entertainment system that incorporates both a 3-D, immersive visor and an omni-directional treadmill. Inside this primitive Holodeck, scientists and interested laypeople could wander the Martian landscape at their leisure, seeing what lies over the next hill or in a nearby canyon, without ever leaving the comfort and safety of Earth.

It’s possible that some unforeseeable breakthrough in astronautics will make human spaceflight beyond LEO much easier and less expensive, perhaps within reach of a private consortium of wealthy individuals and corporations. But it seems more likely that in the current century, robots will be the pioneers of the Martian frontier, not humans. Future generations may view our current plans for sending astronauts to Mars as we view an earlier generation’s dreams of personal jet packs and flying cars: technically achievable, but utterly impractical for economic and political reasons.



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Posted: March 3rd, 2011
at 5:10pm by mnp

Categories: "ninja",space

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