Semi-Autonomous Robot Astronauts Linked to Humans
Humanoid robots are coming online rather quickly now. Unless some new kind of treatments or shielding is developed for long voyages, perhaps a compromise could be developed. Picture a semi-autonomous robot astronaut (like the rovers on Mars but humanoid). A human pilot on Earth would link up intuitively with the robot during its trip to Mars. During the pilot’s down-time, the robot would perform routine tasks autonomously. Upon arrival on Mars, a team of robots would then build protective shelters (probably subterranean) for human astronauts to inhabit on their arrival. Robots building the shelters beforehand would greatly reduce the radiation exposure to human astronauts. This method may be less adventurous than direct human-controlled missions but would be much safer considering the presently known serious hazards stacked against long-term, direct human space exploration.