Friday, May 23, 2008

Robots in Space

Roger D. Launius and Howard E. McCurdy think that it's "almost inevitable" that humankind will one day find a planet "that appears to be much like Earth." In their book, Robots in Space: Tecnology, Evolution, and Interplanetary Travel, they look at the underlying questions that interplanetary travel evokes. Will we be up to the task? How successful will expeditions be, given our limited resources, biological constraints, and the "general hostility of space"? This is a very provocative book based on rigorous scholarship that poses concepts like looking at human spaceflight as Utopia" and developing "closed-loop life support systems." Plus, what does the future hold for humans in a "postbioogical universe"? Stay tuned (or, should we say, zoned?), perhaps we'll know more in a million years, or so. Rating: four stars out of five (especially for an audacious imaginative approach).

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