Humans vs robots: which should we use for space exploration?

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My research on space exploration has brought up many things I haven’t thought about before, including the use of technology in space exploration. This got me thinking about whether or not technology will eventually take the place of humans in this area. When I first thought about this question, my initial answer was that robots should be used ahead of humans when it comes to space exploration, simply because they are able to withstand harsher conditions and have immunity to disease that may be present in the atmosphere.

I decided to research this further to see if there are any benefits to sending human astronauts into space. The first article I looked at further backed up my initial opinion. It said that most astronomers will tell you that virtually anything a human can do on another planet, a robot can do, only cheaper and without the risk of losing a life. With money being a major issue for many people when they compare the importance of space exploration with major issues happening here on Earth (for example disease), the thought of cheaper alternatives can only be a good thing, as it would free up funds for us to deal with other problems that might be seen as more important.

Recently, robots have done all the planetary exploration in the solar system. In past decades, rovers, landers, and orbiters have visited the moon, asteroids and comets, every planet in the solar system and many of their moons as well, reaching much further than humans have ever been able to go! Humans haven’t played a role in this when it comes to actually being in space, yet we have still managed to gather lots of useful information about these planets. Doesn’t this make humans kind of pointless if robots can do the same job or, in fact, even better?

The NASA website itself seems to favour robots. An article there states that robots can do a lot of things that humans can’t, such as withstand harsh conditions such as extreme temperatures and high levels of radiation. They can also be built to do things that would be too risky (or even impossible) for astronauts. On top of that, robots don’t need to eat or sleep or use the bathroom so, in that way, they are more efficient. The fact that they can survive in outer space for many years without any problems adapting is also an advantage when it comes to exploring planets that are very far away from Earth.

There are, of course, issues with using robots. For example, there are examples of technology in space that have had faulty or malfunctioning parts (which are incredibly expensive to fix). They could also easily lose signal and connection with Earth, making them essential useless.

On the other hand, we can’t deny that humans have their advantages. For example, they can make quick decisions (they have brains after all whereas robots are only programmed!) in response to changing conditions or new discoveries, rather than waiting for time-delayed instructions from Earth. They are also more mobile than current robot explorers, which means they can more around more. The astronauts in the Apollo 17 mission covered more than 22 miles in three days, a distance that has taken the Mars Opportunity rover eight years to match. On top of that, humans have the ability to drill for samples deep underground and deploy large-scale geologic instruments, something that no rover has ever achieved.

James Garvin, the chief scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre seems to think that both humans and robots can be used alongside each other. He said that, "There isn't a battle between robots and humans – that's comparing apples and oranges. We send the robots as our pathfinders and scouts, and they open the frontiers so that we can decide where and when to send the people."

In conclusion, I feel that the most effective thing to do would be for humans and robots to work alongside each other to explore as much of the solar system as possible for a compromised cost. My question now is, will there come a time where humans are no longer needed at all in space exploration? If it comes to down to purely cost and efficiency, will NASA decide to utilise robots instead?

What do you think?

Comments (111)

  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg impartial_panda_bear | Boutcher C of E Primary School A
    01 Nov 2019

    Great post! I think that although using robots is safer and in some ways easier than using humans, they often don't messenger humans do to survive. Even if NASA made a robot that could feel and need similar things to survive as a human, it may not be the same, as even a clever robot might not feel comfortable or sleep well like a human would - it would be VERY difficult, if not impossible, to make a complete replica of a human. Also, all this effort to make a clever robot, if humans are keen to go up into space, and space travel is getting safer and safer, why not just use a human? If 50 years ago humans could survive in space for a long time, is it any different now? Using a robot wouldn't be any less expensive, or prevent space travel harming the planet. And then, there is just the mere thrill of it. How many people get to see what Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin got to see? Humans can learn and report things that robots can not. Using a human feel like it would be a lot easier.

    However, I do agree that Space travel is very risky, and not always very convenient. People have to be away from their families and loved ones for months and weeks, and not everyone wants that. Robots are, however, very helpful for data and information, and I too believe that robots and humans should work together to expand and deepen out knowledge on what lies above us.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      impartial_panda_bear's comment 02 Nov 2019

      You've taken an open-minded approach here, impartial_panda_bear.

      Reply to this comment
    2. St Marys Whitstable logo cheerful_significance | St Mary's Catholic Primary School
      impartial_panda_bear's comment 04 Nov 2019

      I think that this is a good idea but I think that robots might be better because they don’t need oxygen and we are not losing anything if it doesn’t work out. As robots get more advanced over time it will be easier to use robots for space missions.

      Reply to this comment
    3. Ormiston Sudbury Academy free_iceberg | Ormiston Sudbury Academy
      impartial_panda_bear's comment 13 Nov 2019

      Also if a robot happens to go wrong whilst still in space they would end up needing humans to still go in space to fix any problems meaning we may loose any progress and information the robot is collecting, which would cost more money than originally needed. If a human was sent to space it may take longer to collect samples up to the type of robot sent and its efficiency.

      Reply to this comment
      1. tom Tom @ the BNC
        free_iceberg's comment 13 Nov 2019

        An interesting point, free_iceberg. Or could robots be sent to fix the robots - would that work?

        Reply to this comment
      2. best_peach | Whyteleafe School A
        free_iceberg's comment 15 Nov 2019

        True humans should be the people going into space but it would be good if both of them could go as humans might want to stay near the space station to not get lost (and humans need food and water) where as robots could go anywhere and do not need food or water.

        Reply to this comment
    4. Portobello-logo-250x250.jpg alert_fish | Portobello High School
      impartial_panda_bear's comment 14 Nov 2019

      Robots would be good because we could easily collect data from them even if they stop working because we could have them connected to a computer the whole time

      Reply to this comment
      1. Hammond School logo versatile_molecule | Hammond Junior School B
        alert_fish's comment 19 Nov 2019

        I think that we should still use humans because it costs a lot less money but then again, using humans is a lot more risky. With current technology robots are less lightly to make mistakes on missions and can carefully store more information than a human can but humans can react to situations that robots can not because robots are programmed to do things, humans can still do things that do not fit the regular patterns. When scientists are creating robots they have to think of all the possible outcomes, they may not have thought of some of the outcomes. Robots are more precise and they can carry out more tasks at once than a human can.

        Reply to this comment
        1. tom Tom @ the BNC
          versatile_molecule's comment 20 Nov 2019

          Well-written, versatile_molecule. You're thinking about the consequences of each idea!

          Reply to this comment
  • Crampton-logo-250x250.jpg inspired_petal | Crampton Primary School
    02 Nov 2019

    I found your thoughts really interesting

    Reply to this comment
  • Crampton-logo-250x250.jpg inspired_petal | Crampton Primary School
    02 Nov 2019

    You should be proud of yourself

    Reply to this comment
  • Braiswick Primary School succinct_leaves | Braiswick Primary School
    02 Nov 2019

    This is a really good post, well done. I just wanted to say that, until we can make better robots and other technological equipment, humans should be used more than robots and rovers etc. This is mainly because of your reasons such as we can think faster and move around more and quicker. But, robots have no use if we want to send people to Mars to live there. Robots main or only use is to give us information so sending them to Mars won't do anything.

    P.S. Can you add where you found your information as that would be very helpful. Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg respectful_cloud | Upton Cross Primary School
    02 Nov 2019

    I think using robot in space is very useful. Its all in humans hand how to use technology.

    Reply to this comment
  • Weston-Favell-logo-250x250.jpg honorable_conclusion | Weston Favell Academy
    03 Nov 2019

    I believe that we should use humans. This is because there are many dangers of using robots. Firstly, although they can record data to report back to NASA, they do not feel the same way that humans do. Therefore, if there is a dangerous substance on Mars or another planet, the robot may not detect it as it is not in danger of it. This shows we should use humans as they can sense if something dangerous is there and report it to NASA.

    In addition, another negative of using robots is that they are programmed. When a robot is programmed from Earth, there will be a time delay between when the instructions are given and when the robot receives it. For example, the time delay between Mars and Earth (which we have recently been scouting) is about 20 minutes on average. This can prove a problem if there is a crater or a cliff that the robot might fall into as the controllers will not see it before the robot falls into it. Also, if there is a storm coming, the controllers cannot transmit a message to the robot in time for the storm so all the research will be lost.

    Also, another negative of using rovers is that they are an expensive method of researching Space. For example, the Mars Pathfinder mission cost $265 million - with $25 million of this going to building the rover. According to the 2018 government pay scale, an astronaut earns between $63,600 and $98,317 per year. Although a human cannot go to Mars, on missions to research space in general, it would definitely be a lot more cost effective to send humans into space.

    Finally, a positive of using humans is that it gives people the chance to have an amazing experience. Can you imagine flying into space and landing on the moon? Most children dream about doing that. If we send humans into space, it will make them more positive as they have seen amazing things.

    However, there are positives to using robots. Firstly, robots will not get distracted by the beauty of a place and will just do the work. If a human sees something amazing or beautiful, they will generally stop to admire it. Therefore, robots would be more efficient as they will just get on with the job. In addition, if humans go to space, it takes a while for them to readjust to gravity on space. This shows that robots should be used because they will not have problems when they return to Earth.

    In conclusion, although there are risks of sending astronauts to space, it is a cost effective, more reliable way of exploring space.

    Information foundnssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/spacecraft/display.action?id=MESURPR at :https://mars.nasa.gov/mer/mission/timeline/surfaceops/navigation/
    https://www.businessinsider.com/nasa-astronaut-annual-salary-limits-2018-2?r=US&IR=T

    Reply to this comment
  • Braiswick Primary School spirited_insect | Braiswick Primary School
    04 Nov 2019

    Yes I agree that robots should be used for space explorations, even if exploring is fun. Another reason that is related to one of your reasons, is that robots are programmed. If Robots are programmed to do something, they would do it, but humans actually know how to rob. The first crime in space which was robbery, was committed aboard the International Space Station, and is believed to be committed by Anne McClain. But if a robot was programmed for the mission, it would be unlikely they were programmed to rob, and there would be no accusations.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      spirited_insect's comment 04 Nov 2019

      This is an interesting angle on the question, spirited_insect, and a good show of reasoning. Could the risk of 'robot-crime' be higher though?

      Reply to this comment
  • Ormiston Sudbury Academy flowing_glockenspiel | Ormiston Sudbury Academy
    04 Nov 2019

    Yes i also agree that robots should be used for space exploration because if for some reason in the future resources were becoming short and the only way we would be able to get more robots would give us the chance to do this

    Reply to this comment
  • Hanson-logo-250x250.jpg methodical_tomato | Hanson Academy
    04 Nov 2019

    i think that they should send humans because they are more trustworthy then robots and can handle any situation however if an actual life threatening problem occurs then humans lives are put at risk .

    Reply to this comment
  • St Marys Whitstable logo cheerful_significance | St Mary's Catholic Primary School
    04 Nov 2019

    Well done this definitely got me thinking fascinating wasp

    Reply to this comment
  • Lyons Hall Primary School busy_hedgehog | Lyons Hall Primary School D
    05 Nov 2019

    we shoudent send robots to space becase if it malifuncation it my do somthing bad like blow up what do you think?

    Reply to this comment
  • Evelyn-Street-logo-250x250.jpg confident_keyboard | Evelyn Street Primary School B
    05 Nov 2019

    I think that robots should because we dont want people getting lost in space or dying of thirst in mars because people of the world all have a purpose

    Reply to this comment
  • Braiswick Primary School logical_fact | Braiswick Primary School
    05 Nov 2019

    I personally think we should use robots as they could survive a lot more things and record more easily if we have the right materials and technology is getting better nowadays so I think we should use robots.They will be expensive but using robots allows more space exploration.

    Reply to this comment
  • The-Ruth-Gorse-logo-250x250.jpg balanced_singer | The Ruth Gorse Academy
    05 Nov 2019

    This is a great post fascinated_wasp, I really enjoyed reading it.

    We shouldn't send robots into space. This is because most of the things that people are planning to do in space involve people eg: living on Mars and going on holiday to space. We need to see the effects on humans and not robots, which are very different from us. Also, robots don't come cheap. They cost so much and this would add to the already ever-increasing costs to space exploration. Furthermore, we should use robots for other things to do in space. Some examples would be: searching for a variety of rocks and soils that hold clues to past water activity; determine the distribution and composition of minerals, rocks, and soils surrounding the landing sites and search for clues to the environmental conditions that existed when liquid water was present. To add, I feel that having an actual real-life human in space would seem like a bigger achievement for us all. This is because, imagine sitting at home watching on the TV a rocket going into space, being at the space station controlling it all and being in that rocket ( it would be pretty amazing ). Robots don't have feelings.
    However, I can see some of the benefits of sending robots up. One would be that it would be ''ok'' if it didn't go how the mission was planned - so losing a lot of money isn't the best but the point that I'm trying to make is that people won't die because of it. Also, they can stand extreme temperatures like fascinated_wasp said. But this point made me think: since I said we need to see the effects on humans before, what would be the use if they can stand anything. So I thought again and it would be safer and less dangerous. Robots can also give more reliable results since they are all the same. What this means is that a human might have a health problem or catch a disease whilst in space, robots don't get these.

    Overall I think that we should send humans to space.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      balanced_singer's comment 05 Nov 2019

      Good reasons presented on either side, balanced_singer. You talk about the impact on astronauts - you might want to ask some questions of our experts - especially Bonnie Posselt, specialist in space medicine!

      Reply to this comment
  • Chestnut Park logo splendid_badger | Chestnut Park Primary School
    05 Nov 2019

    I think humans and robots are good together because without us the robots wouldn't know what to do. We program the robots to do what they do. Also without robots we wouldn't know there are more to space than the Moon.

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  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg happy_sparrow | Birchwood C of E Primary School
    06 Nov 2019

    I think that we should use humans because humans are smarter and it would take up a lot of time to programme a robot to do it's job and the more time we waste programming a robot the more in danger our wold becomes since we have been ignoring global warming and have let it get worse overtime. And humans are less likely to make mistakes if trained properly whereas a robot could malfunction and destroy the entire mission.

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  • Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg involved_watermelon | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
    06 Nov 2019

    I think we should use robots to go to space,one, humans have to wear all that gear to protect themselves and the mask but robots do not have to because they can breathe,two, we dont need do waste alot of money for space when we have more important things to spend the money on, and three,we should not risk taking humans to space.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      involved_watermelon's comment 06 Nov 2019

      Would using robots cost a lot of money too, do you think?

      Reply to this comment
      1. Boutcher-logo-250x250.jpg involved_watermelon | Boutcher C of E Primary School B
        Tom @ the BNC's comment 08 Nov 2019

        robots and moon rockets these days are not so expensive,compared to the price tag of a manned mission to the moon.

        Reply to this comment
        1. tom Tom @ the BNC
          involved_watermelon's comment 08 Nov 2019

          Can you tell us where you found your evidence for this? Can you give us some numbers?

          Reply to this comment
  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg inspiring_penguin | Graveney School
    06 Nov 2019

    I think this is a fascinating question and one where at the moment there is no wrong or right answer. I do however believe that robots would be the safer option for even though it would cost a great deal of money, it would in my view be worth it. This is because they would not need a space suit, food or contact monitoring of health. They could also perhaps get jobs done more efficiently depending on their programming. In addition, a human life is far more valuable than a robots which can be simply made again. NASA have the funding currently to do this and it would not be any less economically power boosting. However, I am rather sceptical about this because there are so many excellent points in their favour.

    Reply to this comment
  • Faringdon-logo-250x250.jpg excited_passionfruit | Faringdon Community College
    06 Nov 2019

    Great post! Congrats!

    My view on this is that we should send robots, or some form of robot, into space. We already do this by sending satellites (such as the International Space Station) and rovers (such as the Mars rover). With robots, you can be almost certain that what they have seen is true, as robots (at least the ones that are in space!) cannot lie. For example, many Americans do not believe Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Micheal Collins actually landed on the moon.

    Another reason why we should send robots instead of humans into space is that if a mission fails by crashing or the rocket exploding robots will get destroyed, not humans. The question is, what's worth more, money or lives?

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      excited_passionfruit's comment 06 Nov 2019

      Two good reasons, excited_passionfruit. What would you say to this last question?

      Reply to this comment
  • Noel-Park-logo-250x250.jpg brave_grape | Noel Park Primary School
    06 Nov 2019

    I doen some research and I found out that to launch a robot into space is estimated to cost about US$2.1 billion,if it was for a astronaut it would be $50 billion which is much more expensive . Sputnik 1, of course, was the first robot in space, and was launched October 4th, 1957 by the USSR. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) robots are robotic devices used to aid, augment, or substitute for astronauts in order to do difficult or rote tasks such as repairs in dangerous environments (such as those with radiation or micrometeorite risks)

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      brave_grape's comment 06 Nov 2019

      That’s fascinating - where did you find this information, brave_grape?

      Reply to this comment
  • Faringdon-logo-250x250.jpg excited_passionfruit | Faringdon Community College
    06 Nov 2019

    Thank you!

    I personally believe that robots should be sent into space, instead of humans. They are far more intelligent than us, and so can spot and discover things that we may not. Although robots cost a lot of money, I believe sending them into space is the better choice. It is not right to put someone's life at risk, whether they have agreed to it or not.

    I wrote a post on this: Money or Lives?

    Reply to this comment
  • The Sherwood School logical_drum | The Sherwood School
    07 Nov 2019

    i think we should send robots because they don't need food water and things like that which cost a lot of money.On the other hand it could cost more to programme the robot.But you could have a bigger capacity, and less room for the robots.But what if they came across a species[not human] give them guns?

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  • CuddingtonCroft-logo-250x250.jpg memorable_tiger | Cuddington Croft Primary School
    07 Nov 2019

    I reckon we should use robots because people can die but robots can’t

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  • The Sherwood School grateful_crab | The Sherwood School
    07 Nov 2019

    I agree that robots should explore since we get the best view without being in danger and under threat. This is also important because if we were to explore Mars there will be many possible threats such as unknown lifeforms or the famous Mars catastrophic sand storms. This would also be convinient because you could explore without fear and without being harmed. If a human were to go there are little chances of surviving and its a lot less safer.

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  • Hammond School logo happy_chicken | Hammond Junior School B
    08 Nov 2019

    i agree robots are a bit less money but we would need to buy the parts to make them so in that case we should send humans

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  • Hammond School logo happy_chicken | Hammond Junior School B
    08 Nov 2019

    also the robots may stop working in space

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  • Richmond-Hill-logo-250x250.jpg stellar_context | Richmond Hill Academy
    08 Nov 2019

    i think we should use robots to go to space because if humans go their is a high chance of us dying. If a robot takes are place we will not die the robot will take the damage it might cost a lot but we won't die and make that persons family suffer of loosing someone

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  • The Sherwood School giving_orangutan | The Sherwood School
    08 Nov 2019

    I agree with grateful crab because recent probes have discovered that there are unknown substances found in space and on Mars this is why robots should go to space. Astronauts should not take the risk and they do not need to go through all the training a normal astronaut should have before going to space.

    Reply to this comment
  • The Sherwood School curious_speech | The Sherwood School
    09 Nov 2019

    Is good to send humans to space because they can find about more stuffs and if you send a robot it won’t work because they could be broken and when they get in the space ship they might press the wrong button to launch or exectra

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  • St Marys Whitstable logo dedicated_strawberry | St Mary's Catholic Primary School B
    09 Nov 2019

    I think robots would be better because humans could die without oxygen where as robots don't need stuff in space to survive so it would be much easier with robots.

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  • St Marys Whitstable logo amicable_cello | St Mary's Catholic Primary School B
    09 Nov 2019

    I agree that it is better for robots because they don't need oxygen and it wouldnt be a huge loss if the robot was lost of damaged ; also a robot is more technologically advanced so they would be better at exploring .You can also program them to take samples and explore different arts of the moon and space. Robots could also be a bit cheaper because they don't need space suits and they shouldn't really need to stay in the ISS. Also you wouldn't need them to have all the food and water that astronauts would need. However they would have to make the robots strong enough to survive the pressure and the lack of gravity . Robots would also be better at fixing rockets and the ISS because they could have the tools they need on them.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      amicable_cello's comment 11 Nov 2019

      You've taken an sceptical approach here amicable_cello by expressing doubt in your post. What is the strongest reason in everything you've said here?

      Reply to this comment
      1. St Marys Whitstable logo amicable_cello | St Mary's Catholic Primary School B
        Tom @ the BNC's comment 11 Nov 2019

        I think the strongest reason here is that robots are safer because if they get damaged or lost its not as tragic as losing a life.

        Reply to this comment
  • Hammond School logo practical_message | Hammond Junior School E
    10 Nov 2019

    I think we should send robots to space first because who knows what dangers there are in space and we could get hurt, so we send robots to space first and then if it's safe, we can go next because robots can't die and we can.

    Reply to this comment
  • appreciative_dove | Whyteleafe School B
    10 Nov 2019

    Interesting post fascinating_wasp! I really enjoyed reading this!

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  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg charismatic_cherry | Graveney School
    11 Nov 2019

    I think that we should send humans to space as if something goes wrong in or on the outside of the rocket, a human will know what to do and will be able to collect the right things to do it. where as if a robot did not have the right programming it would not be able to save the space rocket and we would just lose that rocket. also, if we want to inhabit a planet one day, it is best that humans go to that planet and see if it is a habitable or not, though if a robot went there we wouldn't know if it was the right conditions for humans.
    Even if it does kill a few people, those people know that there is a danger of dying and still went there, so they know that they could die. Since 1960 (at NASA ) only 20 people have died while in space whereas more than 624,000 people have died in car crashes (not since 1960) also if humans go to space that means that we can really see and feel the planet. A robot does not have real sight or real feelings or anything, only artificial intelligence.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      charismatic_cherry's comment 11 Nov 2019

      You have brought in several reasons to back up your opinion, charismatic_cherry. Is comparing space accidents with car accidents going to give us a good idea of risk?

      Reply to this comment
  • Brompton Westbrook logo tenacious_trombone | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    11 Nov 2019

    Great post!
    I think robots should be used for space exploration because they don't need food and can
    go through years of space travel unlike humans .

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  • Allerton-logo-250x250.jpg triumphant_tomato | Allerton High School
    13 Nov 2019

    Often i would say robots are better to use for many reasons like able to withstand conditions also they are will not be able to get space sickness but if it's an emergency and we needed to go into space fast we should use a human because to send a robot would take a long time to build so because of these reasons I agree with you fascinating_wasp that because both are good for different reasons I would say the are both as good as each other to send into space

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      triumphant_tomato's comment 13 Nov 2019

      An open-minded response! What kind of emergencies are you thinking, triumphant_tomato?

      Reply to this comment
      1. Allerton-logo-250x250.jpg triumphant_tomato | Allerton High School
        Tom @ the BNC's comment 14 Nov 2019

        Well- if we were in a emergency such as global warming there would be lots of difficult decisions to make. If we sent a robot we would have to programme it but what if it had to make a decision that we didn't programme it for we can't go up into space to re programme but a human doesn't need programming and can make the decision quickly .

        Reply to this comment
  • Hillyfield School logo considerate_construction | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    14 Nov 2019

    Robots,they can be useful for going places humans cannot.

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  • Allerton-logo-250x250.jpg reasoning_honeydew | Allerton High School
    14 Nov 2019

    I thought this post was very good fascinating_wasp, and I enjoyed reading it a lot as it has given me a lot to think about. Although I see that sending robots into space would be a good idea, I also strongly think that humans would be better. One point is that robots have previously been sent into space and problems have occurred, that astronauts have been unable to fix. The robot had to be sent back to earth for the damage to be fixed. This would never happen with human beings, as they would not stop working and request help from other astronauts who have work of their own to do. Additionally, while it is good that robots are immune to disease possible to catch from unknown places, humans are not. We need to test how human beings react with effects of unknown places, as robots’ results may be entirely different and no help whatsoever. Furthermore, people will think that it doesn’t matter if the mission doesn’t go as planned, for robots cannot die. But this means that a lot of time, effort and money would be put into something, then completely wasted. I understand that it is a good idea to test things out, but safety must be a concern when plans are made, and would it not be better if only one had to be carried out? Overall I think it would be best if humans did the research and robots were not sent for space exploration missions.

    Reply to this comment
    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      reasoning_honeydew's comment 15 Nov 2019

      How big of a problem is it if a robot is sent into space but something goes wrong?

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      1. Allerton-logo-250x250.jpg reasoning_honeydew | Allerton High School
        Tom @ the BNC's comment 16 Nov 2019

        It is a very big problem if a robot is sent into space but stops working, as it could mean astronauts would have to help fix the robot instead of doing the important research they were sent for. The robot could even cause harm to other astronauts, so, as you can see, this would be a very bad situation.

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  • Richmond-Hill-logo-250x250.jpg powerful_desert | Richmond Hill Academy
    15 Nov 2019

    I think that robots and humans should go to space

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  • persistent_king | Whyteleafe School A
    15 Nov 2019

    Well if we want to go further out to space we should use robots because we don't know how long we can last out there and what is out there?We should use humans when we are looking at something quite near to our own Earth!!

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  • spontaneous_hummingbird | Whyteleafe School A
    15 Nov 2019

    I think it would be smart to use robots because they are not human and if something happens then it will not be a life that is taken.

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  • Hillyfield School logo easygoing_wombat | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    15 Nov 2019

    I think that we should go to space because we all want to see moon

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  • Hillyfield School logo easygoing_wombat | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    15 Nov 2019

    I think that we should go to see space .
    But on the other side robots should go space because we could die and the rocket could crash.

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  • Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg sensible_melon | Upton Cross Primary School
    16 Nov 2019

    Yes I agree with you fantastic_wasp, robots should do space explorations because they don't get diseases but on the other side if a human does it he or she will know if the planet or moon is fit for human life. Also humans don’t corrode and rust unlike robots humans can talk to their commander and say to reporters how it was like there.One disadvantage is that unlike robots humans have to come back and that would cost money but robots can be kept at that place because it fulfilled its mission and it’s not a living organism so it can stay on the planet for no costs.

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      sensible_melon's comment 17 Nov 2019

      Several very good reasons for space exploration with robots, sensible_melon, and for the other side too. Which do you think is your best reason?

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      1. Upton-Cross-logo-250x250.jpg sensible_melon | Upton Cross Primary School
        Tom @ the BNC's comment 17 Nov 2019

        I think that robots should do it because it would be risky and life threatening for humans to explore uninhabited planets. Like if we sent a person to mars they would die because mars doesn’t have a thick atmosphere and a magnetic field to protect people from harmful radiation and UV rays.

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  • Hillyfield School logo triumphant_performance | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    16 Nov 2019

    But the robots could crash into something and break

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  • Hammond School logo outgoing_piano | Hammond Junior School E
    17 Nov 2019

    Well there is no perfect answer for example: the robots might run out of power or got damaged they would have to bring it back for repairs and the human might die , get sick or crash the ship. So the only answer to make a perfect space exploration team is a robot and a human.

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  • Hammond School logo joyful_seagull | Hammond Junior School A
    18 Nov 2019

    I think that using robots are a safer but more expensive way to look at the space exploration as we are not risking anyone's life but another problem is that it will cost us a lot but it will be worth it as we will find and discover more and look deeper into space

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      joyful_seagull's comment 18 Nov 2019

      Why will robots allow us to look deeper into space?

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  • Hammond School logo versatile_molecule | Hammond Junior School B
    18 Nov 2019

    I think using robots for space exploration would make space exploration a lot safer however this comes at a cost, making robots takes money and resources, these things could go towards, as I said in my other comments, reducing poverty, animal conservation, the NHS, and the environment.

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  • Hammond School logo happy_politics | Hammond Junior School A
    18 Nov 2019

    I believe that using robots for space exploration is good, however, they should still be accompanied by human astronauts too. A good reason for using robots is:
    Their sensors track things easier than human eyes, meaning that evidence would be spotted easier.
    They do not have needs, unlike humans, meaning they study on the planets for days.
    However, some bad things about using robots are:
    If they malfunction, the data could be lost.
    The weight of the robot could damage the planet.
    Coding instructions take longer to reach the robot than a human would to make a decision.
    Therefore, I found it hard to choose an answer. However, I decided it was a good thing to use robots, but with the accompaniment of human astronauts too.

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      happy_politics's comment 18 Nov 2019

      Strong reasons for either side here, happy_politics. You’ve also taken an open minded approach by acknowledging both robots and humans have their place.

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  • Hillyfield School logo blissful_reflection | Hillyfield Primary Academy
    18 Nov 2019

    Fascinating_wasp I loved your article but I believe that sending robots into space might be dangerous because they might stop working in the middle of something important and destroy or harm the surface of a planet and also might scatter parts of them in space and leave them floating around which could pollute the environment and hurt future explorers by getting in the way of spaceships. Also if people can’t go to space to work then they would want to go as tourists and that would lead to further pollution and other terrible things for our planet. Many people want to be astronauts so why should we stop them when there is something important to do and replace them with robots?

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    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      blissful_reflection's comment 19 Nov 2019

      Lots of reasons here. Can you be open-minded and explain the advantages or replacing humans with robots?

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  • Hammond School logo miraculous_knowledge | Hammond Junior School A
    18 Nov 2019

    In my opinion, I think that sending robots up to space is a great idea. They could really impact the knowledge that we already have about space and expand it. It could be a risk though as something could go wrong with the robot, but it is much better to send a robot than a real person as they will be less important to loose. The robot can do just as many things as a human and they will be less expensive as you won't need to supply food and water or a space suit. They also don't need oxygen so they can survive in space much longer than humans, so that if you needed a mission that would take an extremely long time then the robot is safer to send. Although I have a doubt, I think that it is almost impossible for a robot to be generated so that it can fly the space craft all by itself so it would need a human up there with it. If the human and the robot are there the two will really work as a good team as the robot could make discoveries out of the space craft and the human could fly the space craft.

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    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      miraculous_knowledge's comment 19 Nov 2019

      I like how you've been sceptical of your own answer, this shows excellent critical thinking. Well done!

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  • Evelyn-Street-logo-250x250.jpg smart_idea | Evelyn Street Primary School B
    19 Nov 2019

    I think we should use robots since we don't want any humans to be harmed when to go into space.

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  • Evelyn-Street-logo-250x250.jpg best_octopus | Evelyn Street Primary School B
    19 Nov 2019

    I agree that rovers are much cheaper than astronauts but we can't forget that rovers are not easy to make so just making a rover is most likely very expensive so are robots less useful than humans

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School healthy_deer | Lyons Hall Primary School C
    19 Nov 2019

    I like how you have viewed both sides and made a onset argument keep it up!

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  • Birchwood-logo-250x250.jpg buzzing_atom | Birchwood C of E Primary School
    19 Nov 2019

    Well I think both.Here are my reasons.I think robots should be sent because humans could die and that’s just causing deaths.I also think robots should go as well because robots can be programmed to fine the certain thing that you want.I think that humans should go because robots can cost a lot of money to build.I think you should send humans because robots can take a lot of time and effort to programme and to control whilst their on the moon.

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  • Hammond School logo determined_shrimp | Hammond Junior School B
    19 Nov 2019

    I think that robots should be sent up instead of human, firstly, it would be a massive risk for those astronauts of loosing contact with the international space station and Earth, like India’s latest rocket that lost contact with Earth as they were about to land on the moon and we do not want that tragic event to happen again.
    Secondly, I think it would be easier to transport a robot into orbit and cost less money than a human, because we wouldn’t need a rocket that human can fit in and when a launch fails that is a whopping £500,000,000 lost and is in space floating around.
    Thirdly, robots are always active but human need sleep and it would be hard to find somewhere to eat or sleep while roaming around Mars with next to no gravity.1/3 of people’s life is them sleeping!
    However, robots cannot make quick decisions unlike humans because the commands given to a robot would take to long to make a quick decision. Also, this means we won’t get human footprints on Mars and we couldn’t bring back the discoveries the robot finds and see Mars for ourselves.
    In conclusion, there are valid reasons on both sides of the argument but it is probably safer to send a robot into orbit than humans.

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    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      determined_shrimp's comment 19 Nov 2019

      Great reasoning. Well done!

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  • The Sherwood School productive_eel | The Sherwood School
    19 Nov 2019

    I think humans and robots should work together as they might a item that makes humans capable of going to mars.In my opinion humans should go first as we created robots.If we feel it is too dangerous the robots will go and explore mars.
    On the other hand the robots should go first although the n probes explored there might be extra information that the robots can get.If human go there they might experience:drought,that might lead to death;immense showers of acid or any dangerous substance and ; an attack or a natural disaster. All of this can effect humans it might not faze the robots.
    In conclusion robots will need to accompany humans because if they work together they accomplish a lot more than work by themselves.If they do this there will be a higher chance of success.

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      productive_eel's comment 20 Nov 2019

      A balanced an open-minded answer, productive_eel. What's your verdict?

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  • St Marys Whitstable logo motivated_swan | St Mary's Catholic Primary School B
    19 Nov 2019

    I think that we should and should not because yes it would mean that we discover so much more about the solar system but what about the environment ???

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  • Hammond School logo perceptive_skill | Hammond Junior School A
    20 Nov 2019

    I think that we should use robots because if we send humans up we could be endangering the humans if we send them up there but if we send the robots to investigate then we could send them up with a human encase they need to be prepared but we would use scrap metal because if we use newly made metal then we would be using up the money that we could spend on a lot of other things including shelters for the homeless. We also should use robots because you can give them instructions on what to do using controls but with humans they might not know what to do out there. We know that a space rocket blew up and a few men died and that is why we should send robots up just in case the rocket blows up just like it did then.

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  • Hammond School logo joyous_temperature | Hammond Junior School A
    20 Nov 2019

    I agree with your sayings and in my opinion I think we should take robots up to space even though a astronaut is fully trained and they would love to go we are putting a Innocent person in danger because the could go missing in space the aircraft could blow up in space or when there taking off or the landing back on earth could go horribly wrong all these things have happened before and astronauts have died but I know this could all happen to a robot and more money would have gone down the drain but I still think it is a much safer way. I hope you agree with my statement.

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      joyous_temperature's comment 20 Nov 2019

      Thanks joyous_temperature. In future, try to include some full stops so your sentences are shorter and so easier for your readers to understand!

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School reserved_wombat | Lyons Hall Primary School E
    20 Nov 2019

    Robots definitely because it’s risking who ever goes up there’s life

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  • Hammond School logo genuine_cat | Hammond Junior School A
    20 Nov 2019

    I think we should use humans and robots alongside each other like fascinating wasp said above. I disagree with James Garvin when he says that 'We send the robots as our pathfinders and scouts, and they open the frontiers so that we can decide where and when to send the people' because exploration would work way better if we used human creativity with robotic resourcefulness. I think this because working together allows for a environment where each person can show their skill and contribute with that passionate interest which means not only the job is easy and is quicker but has a better chance of success.

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  • The Sherwood School playful_truth | The Sherwood School
    21 Nov 2019

    robots win ! people can die if they go into space for too long . robots are mechanical and don't need oxygen !

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  • Hammond School logo glad_rainforest | Hammond Junior School E
    29 Nov 2019

    robots because we wont have to risk our lives and like playful truth said robots are mechanical and dont need oxygen

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School glad_skill | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    10 Dec 2019

    If a robot goes into space wouldn’t the space employees (engineers, nasa scientists or the space explores) have to go back and see what’s wrong with the robot if something goes wrong and then they would waist a lot of money. Adding on to that you wouldn’t know if or how it affects the human body (the astronauts could get really sick and get a skin condition). On the other hand we wouldn’t need to waist as much oxygen because robots are more technologically and advanced

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School clever_coconut | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    10 Dec 2019

    Should we send robots or humans up to space?
    Robots: I think that we should send robots up to space because humans won’t get hurt. You can also send a camera up with them to see what’s going on.
    Humans: I think that we should send humans up to space because you will be able to see what happens to their skin. It would be more of an advantage as humans can get out of the rocket and explore.
    I believe that we should send robots up to space because it won’t affect humans and won’t risk life’s.

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  • Hammond School logo versatile_molecule | Hammond Junior School B
    10 Dec 2019

    I think we should combine human intelligence and robot resourcefulness.

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  • Hammond School logo resilient_apple | Hammond Junior School B
    10 Dec 2019

    I think we should have humans still go to the moon. Here's why.

    Firstly, if we sent a robot into space the robot would only do what it was programmed to do so for example fix the rocket engine and then it wouldn't know what to do because that was only what it was programmed to do.

    Secondly, the robot would cost a lot of money whereas a human doesn't cost anything . To build a robot, you would need to pay for all the parts to put it together and then when it's going to do its job you notice that it didn't work and then you think"oh, I should have just got an astronaught to do it instead of a £300 robot."

    Finally, would you rather have a good experience in space or let a robot have a good time. If I had that opportunity, I would go to space instead of a robot so I could experience how cool space really is and do my part to help scientists get research about this galaxy.

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    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      resilient_apple's comment 10 Dec 2019

      Great scepticism and reasoning shown. Well done! I especially like how you have hit on some of the differences between human experiences and robots like experiences and autonomy (freedom).

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School romantic_forest | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    10 Dec 2019

    on one side we should send robots to space instead of humans because of many reasons. First because they can handle much much colder environments or much hotter environments.
    Secondly they can survive in space for a lot lot long time.Third they are a lot smarter then us and they can figurer some stuff out that we cant.
    But on the other hand us Humans need to do things are self and see stuff are self. If we got to the moon we can can get some where els.
    In conclusion i think Robots should because of the facts i labelled in the first 3 sentences and humans could die in space.

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    1. tom Tom @ the BNC
      romantic_forest's comment 11 Dec 2019

      What could they figure out, that we can't?

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School kind_dinosaur | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    10 Dec 2019

    Lovely discussion starter, heres my post.

    If we sent humans for space travel they could take a look at where there going. However with robots, there programmed, they will only go. where there told. Humans don't cost money where robots do.


    However with robots they might cost money but it dosen't put a life in danger. humans may be able to send back news but robots can send back photos. humans can look where there heading but robots are programmed so they will go there no matter what from there program.

    in conclusion I think we should wend robots as it dosen't put a life at risk and they can send back photos.

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  • Lyons Hall Primary School intrepid_hurricane | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    12 Dec 2019

    On the one hand, I think that we should send robots up to space because we can programme a camera or a recording device onto them so they can take photos and videos of how the Moon looks and what it sounds like. If a human was to take pictures and record, it would be much harder for them to do so because their gloves are smooth, and that would cause the device to slip around in their fingers. It would also be much easier to get a robot into a rocket. The robot mission to Mars was successful and that gives NASA an idea if they should send robots up again.

    On the other hand, I think that we should keep sending humans to space because we can see how the climate affects their shin and their health. Robots are much more likely to be unaffected so we can't see the affects and they cost more money to protect and programme whereas humans don't cost money and only need training which they would have done in the past. When a human goes up to space, their helmet and suit protects them for safety but with a robot, the only thing that protects them is what they are made of.

    The down side of both areas is that, all in all, sending a rocket up to space( with people in it) is VERY risky and not all space missions are successful.

    In conclusion , using open mindedness and reasoning, I think that we should keep sending send humans into space for the reasons I stated above.

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  • appreciative_dove | Whyteleafe School B
    19 Dec 2019

    This post is a really great discussion starter - here's what I think...

    Firstly, ROBOTS are more intelligent than humans and can also store lots of different information in them. So if in this case, NASA needed a bit of information like what time an asteroid is going to pass Earth or when a solar eclipse will happen the ROBOT in space can calculate it and send it directly to the Agency without any difficulties - but if a HUMAN tried they would have to face sending the data , calculating it and most importantly gravity.

    On the other hand, HUMANS can see a wider view and have qualities that a robot doesn't like: common sense, logic, technology, emotions and in some ways less bulkier.What I mean is that ROBOTS are more heavier, more expensive and more bulkier which means that if on part breaks on th ROBOT it could cost hundreds of pounds/dollars however if a HUMAN broke a bone or got sick it wouldn't cost much but they would have a Space Doctor there and if it was worse they would have to abort the mission - there isn't a ROBOT doctor either so they would blow it up or bring it back down to be re-programmed or fixed.

    Besides , ROBOTS can have cameras installed in them so HUMANS can also see what the ROBOT is doing or seeing whilst exploring. Making an even clearer point, ROBOTS don't need oxygen but us HUMANS can't live without it!This makes ROBOTS a better option rather than HUMANS. As I have said in my first reason, "ROBOTS are more intelligent than humans and can also store lots of different information in them" so if that is the case ROBOTS could store all of that on a visual memory card and bring back down to Earth so that we can view it again and again and again.HUMANS can bring a camera but they would need to charge it, start it up and the rest of it before they can even press record therefore ROBOTS are the better option.

    Personally, HUMANS going up into space is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if we let ROBOTS take over for us then it would be a shame because children have dreamed and have hoped in what one day they'll become one of the astronauts that go to space but if we carry on with the path we're taking, that'll be the case but dreams will be shattered.If missions are too hard for a HUMAN to do itself then a ROBOT can of course step in because it will do the same job as the person would have done.But if for safety reasons a ROBOT should go then let it do its job because after all the ROBOT is just doing the same job as our astronauts!

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    1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ the BNC
      appreciative_dove's comment 19 Dec 2019

      Wow! This is a reason-rich comment that is very well considered. Well done! Is there anything you would like to find out more about?

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