Author Topic: NASA Calls for Ceasefire in Human-Robot Space Budget Wars  (Read 984 times)

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Offline Buster's Uncle

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NASA Calls for Ceasefire in Human-Robot Space Budget Wars
« on: September 18, 2012, 03:55:03 PM »
Quote
NASA Calls for Ceasefire in Human-Robot Space Budget Wars
By Jeremy Hsu, InnovationNewsDaily Senior Writer | SPACE.com – 19 hrs ago.. .

 
PASADENA, Calif. — On the morning of the public memorial service for Neil Armstrong, the first person to walk on the moon, NASA officials called for a new era of cooperation between human and robotic space explorers in an era of tighter budgets.
 
Space agency officials spoke of a future where astronauts and robots would work together to explore the scientific mysteries of other planets and to expand humanity's foothold in space. Their words could bring about a truce of sorts, after years of historic budgetary battles between NASA's human exploration program and its robotic science efforts.
 
"Let's stop pitting science against exploration," said Colleen Hartman, director for science, operations and programs at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "The battle between humans and robots is a false one and a waste of time."
 
Hartman and others spoke here Thursday (Sept. 13), the last day of AIAA Space 2012, a conference organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. [Future Visions of Human Spaceflight]
 
About half of NASA's proposed $17.7 billion budget for 2013 is slated to go toward human exploration — a trend unchanged for the past decade — with almost $5 billion reserved for the robotic science and exploration program.
 
But the time is right to find new areas for human-robot cooperation and even redefine the old meanings of exploration and science, said Lt. Gen. Eugene Tattini, a retired U.S. Air Force officer and deputy director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory here in Pasadena. Tattini moderated the morning panel, which was called "Human and Robotic Space Science."
 
All the NASA center directors sitting on the panel echoed the idea of merging human and robotic capabilities in future space missions, regardless of whether their centers had traditionally supported human spaceflight missions or robotic science missions.
 
"The human-robotic interface is going to be key to our success now and in our future," said Robert Cabana, director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "You've seen the robotic devices we use to support astronauts in space. It's absolutely phenomenal."

 Human missions going to the moon, asteroids, Mars or deep space will need robotic housesitters that can watch over outposts between visits by crews, said Stephen Altemus, director of engineering at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
 
He pointed to an early example in Robonaut 2 — the humanoid robot aboard the International Space Station that will get a pair of gripping legs to climb outside the orbiting lab in 2014.
 
Even as robots take over routine and risky jobs (such as spacewalks), humans could potentially do much more meaningful science with their robot buddies. Future missions may have astronauts controlling robots on planetary surfaces from orbit, riding on robotic rovers, and even wearing robotic gloves or full-body exoskeletons to boost their natural strength and mobility, Altemus said.
 
The idea of eliminating the traditional divide between human and robot missions emerged in the planning stages of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover mission, which landed on the Red Planet. Aug. 5. Curiosity's mission represents a natural stepping stone for possible cooperation on human-robot efforts such as a returning a sample of Martian rock or soil to Earth, researchers said.
 
"Curiosity is controlled by people but is smart in its own right," said James Garvin, chief scientist for the science and exploration directorate at NASA Goddard. "It is a forerunner for what we could do with people."
http://news.yahoo.com/nasa-calls-ceasefire-human-robot-space-budget-wars-191623924.html?_esi=1

Offline Green1

Re: NASA Calls for Ceasefire in Human-Robot Space Budget Wars
« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2012, 10:36:21 AM »
There will be no cease fire as long as you have money folks in academia pushing unmanned. Each university gets huge clout and big bucks for each instrument on each probe. Not to mention, a gauranteed job for as long as the probe is functioning for a few high profile PHDs --- if the program is selected. More unmaned probes = more jobs for the masses of unemployed PHDs. So, they will push.

Manned, on the other hand, is for the time being, only for a select few that can pass NASA's very draconian hiring process. Although, it is possible with heavy degrees to subcontract through ULA or Lockheed but the workers do not have the organization of the academics. Hopefully commercial will change this.

The war is about jobs.

Offline Buster's Uncle

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Re: NASA Calls for Ceasefire in Human-Robot Space Budget Wars
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2012, 02:32:35 PM »
Eh, I think there are definite areas of argument beyond jobs.

Offline Buster's Uncle

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Re: NASA Calls for Ceasefire in Human-Robot Space Budget Wars
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2012, 04:29:27 PM »
My brain doesn't tend to boot up very quickly when I awaken; I should elaborate.

The JPL crowd points at all the science you can do with a fairly simple probe, and finds the fantastic expense of keeping a jock alive to go there and back horrifically wasteful.  The human spaceflight types point at the severe limitations of automatic and further, feel that the probies have no long-term vision - or poetry in their souls.  Both sides are correct.

Offline Green1

Re: NASA Calls for Ceasefire in Human-Robot Space Budget Wars
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2012, 11:03:17 PM »
I see the point both are trying to make.

I guess a lot of it too is everything is progressing so slowly.

I am more thinking like Burt Rutan. As soon as we get NAYSAY out of the monopoly, we can actually start seeing cooler stuff. Not to say that we do not have cool stuff now, but it should be going faster.

Charlie Bolden, where's my asteroid mission? Was Griffin too much of an anal nerd you had to start over and throw away all his work towards that? Not the right palms greased? Did Bill Nye and Emily Lakdawallah get mad and want more money for probes so they can play in GIMP on forums? Nothing bad about that, but come on now, it is time to leave low earth orbit.

...even if it is only for an ex military dude with 4 doctorates and a squeaky clean record.

Offline Buster's Uncle

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Re: NASA Calls for Ceasefire in Human-Robot Space Budget Wars
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2012, 11:10:54 PM »
No argument there.

 

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