Advantages Of Unmanned, Robotic Space Missions

1167 Words5 Pages
Andrew Nguyen
ESS 102 (Quiz Section AB)
Dr. Erika Harnett
January 17, 2018

Unmanned, Robotic Space Missions

Space exploration is a vital component of human development. From cell phones to televisions to computers, the world depends on space technology every day. During the mid-20th century, the “Space Race” between the United States (U.S.) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (U.S.S.R.) drove the progress of both manned and unmanned space missions. Since then, technological developments in the space industry continue to contribute to the viability of unmanned, robotic space missions. While the use of robotic space missions can benefit space exploration, these unmanned missions also cause controversy. Proponents of manned space missions
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Robots can orbit, fly by, or land on planets and other places in space and can even collect samples of substances to return to Earth. This flexibility allows scientists to gather various data such as photographs and samples of substances. A primary advantage of unmanned space missions over manned space missions is their ability to gather data from places in space that are currently unsuitable or inaccessible for human field study such as Mercury, Venus, and even outside of the solar system. In addition, unmanned space missions led to launches of space telescopes, most notably the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990. Unlike land telescopes, these space telescopes avoid viewing space through the Earth’s atmosphere, which can distort light (Gregersen,…show more content…
From the lack of gravity to radiation, there are numerous issues with keeping people in space for prolonged periods. In terms of the lack of gravity in space, also referred to as free fall, overtime bone density decreases significantly to the point of developing osteoporosis, a condition where normally small incidents involving bones (e.g. falling, hitting a bone on a hard surface) can result in severe bone fractures. In terms of radiation, electromagnetic radiation and particle radiation found in space can cause severe health problems such as cancer or even death depending on the level and duration of exposure. Without the protection of the Earth’s atmosphere in space, people are extremely vulnerable to such radiation exposure, especially since current artificial radiation shielding would weigh down a spacecraft too much (Iowa State University, 2000). Consequently, such space hazards severely limit the duration of manned space missions compared to unmanned space

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