Why send people into space when a robotic spacecraft costs less?

We take a look at the answer to this intriguing question

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Sending both humans and spacecraft into space provides information that will help us to one day send people to Mars and beyond. Image Credit: NASA

Sending both humans and spacecraft into space provides information that will help us to one day send people to Mars and beyond. Image Credit: NASA

Asked by Joe Bradley

Robots, such as the Curiosity rover, are very beneficial for missions that require precise and repetitive measurements or manoeuvres, as well as missions that last a considerable amount of time. Humans, on the other hand, are much better suited to tasks involving decision-making, or those that require constant adjustments and intervention from scientists.

Sending both spacecraft and humans into space is a worthwhile endeavour since we can learn a great deal of information from both, which can later help us in our goal to send people beyond Earth. By sending humans into space we can gain unique insights into the workings of the human body, especially the parts that are masked by gravity here on Earth, something that we’ve learned more about from astronauts living aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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