If Humans Can’t Go to Mars, Why Not Send Fully Autonomous Robots to Do the Job? NASA Has Innovative Plans

If Humans Can’t Go to Mars, Why Not Send Fully Autonomous Robots to Do the Job? NASA Has Innovative Plans
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Mars has some similarities with Earth that would make the Red Planet potentially habitable for some life forms. Even so, it’s impossible for humans to live on Mars for an extended period of time without a spacesuit.

No astronaut has ever laid foot on Mars, although NASA hopes to fix that until the end of the current decade. Astronomers still need to gather info in order to fully understand how the human body would behave on such an ambitious trip. Until that glorious moment, the space agency has another efficient method of exploring the Red Planet.

Fully autonomous robots will explore the caves of Mars

According to CBS News, NASA is testing and training robots to be sent to the Red Planet in the name of science.

NASA and Boston Dynamics are relying on fully autonomous robots to explore the caves of Mars. Signs of current or past extraterrestrial life could theoretically be found in such structures. The reason is simple: caves can protect life forms from extreme temperatures and cosmic rays.

Along with the BRAILLE project, NASA is already training robots for the job in caves from Earth that are similar to the ones from Mars. The project has already enabled the first autonomous robotic exploration for such caves.

Project lead Ali Agha declared for CBS News:

Future potential human exploration missions can benefit from robots in many different ways,

Particularly, robots can be sent in precursor missions to provide more information about the destination before humans land on those destinations. In addition, robots can accompany astronauts during the missions to help with scouting certain terrains or with logistics and many tasks that can make astronauts’ missions safer and more efficient.

It seems like just a matter of time until humans will physically land on Mars. Let’s hope that the upcoming Artemis mission will make it possible.


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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