Industrial Control DesignLine Blog
On the 40th anniversary of the Apollo landing, I can't help but think about the current state of space exploration in regards to human travel. In some way, we may have taken a step back—-our astronauts do not travel as far as the Apollo astronauts traveled. While that is true, the past 40 years have seen major improvements in our ability to send probes, sensors, telescopes, and robots further than we ever have before. These machines have vastly expanded our understanding of the universe, and have proven to be far more economical than sending astronauts. Some might say that we may never need to send astronauts into the far reaches of space again as we have our machines that send the information back to us. I agree that as our technology progresses we have more ways to collect information from the universe, but I still believe that there is no substitute to sending a human being for a full understanding of a new world. A huma posesses many senses (sensors), and can process all the information in a way that now computer can. And who better to explain the environment to humans than humans themselves. Although budgets at the space programs will be tight for a while, there will be a time when an astronaut walks on Mars. Will that be 40 years from now, or much sooner? Or will we have to wait 100 years? Only time will tell, but I'm hoping it's on the sooner side.
All musings aside: Happy Anniversary to the Apollo Landing, truly one of the greatest feats of engineering in the 20th century!