The speaker’s talk was focused on the prospects of human exploration of space. In his talk he outlined a number of issues with Space Exploration. He also suggests a plan that should guide our future extra-terrestrial expeditions.
One of the major topics Roger Lanius discussed in his talk was our failure to truly conduct any form of space exploration.Human beings have only ever been to the moon, which is our closest heavenly body. We have sent robots to other planets, and yet we know little. Our effort to send things into space has not reciprocated human beings with any valuable results If we have failed to obtain anything tangible to benefit humankind, then why do we continue to “go” (send rovers) to outer space?
This is a pessimistic view of exploration and fails to recognize the value of progress for the sake of progress. The trip to the moon, was monuments and was the culmination of millions of years evolutionary development. This is not to to say that our attempts are all praiseworthy, they have cost the lives of many and billions of dollars, which is to say they can be improved but they are in now way failures.
Mr. Lanius then posed the question, “What exactly are we doing in space?” We are not currently equipped to handle extensive travel to foreign bodies. We can send robots, but what value does that pose to human beings, considering they can never be recollected. Why do we go?
I personally have no answer to this question but would counter with he question “Why do we conduct chemistry?” There is no immediate need in order for us as a species to survive, and yet we continue along. Again I would assert that these types of studies must be conducted in order to prove that we can.
One of Mr. Lanius’ later assertions was that human technology hybrids was/is an inevitability. I agree whole-heartedly with this statement. Human beings undergo plastic surgery on a daily basis, with each new scientific and medical advancement we inch closer. With the advent of pacemakers, fake limbs and organs we are closer and closer to becoming part machine. This robotic enhancement may allow us to overcome the physiological road blocks in space exploration/habitation.
Mr. Lanius’ talk concluded with a sort of challenge to the human race. Despite the monument of hurdles he spoke about, and the near impossibility of escaping our circumstances on this planet he still challenged the listeners to “go where we never have”. He concluded with a foreboding message of sorts about our future. It is our challenge to find ways to do the unimaginable. We must overcome the problems that plagued our successors regardless of the cost. We do not have the means to become an intergalactic civilization but that is not to say we can not acquire those means. The speaker seemed to suggest that as progress in the bio-technological field continues human kind will be come more and more cyborg-esque, and maybe then we can become the people of our Sci-Fi dreams.