Robots in Space Exploration
Historically, robots have been essential in space exploration because of the harsh, uninhabitable conditions beyond the Earth’s orbit. Nowadays, robots are used as personal assistants on space missions, helping with tasks that ordinary humans couldn’t do on their own. However, there have been suggestions that should further foster this relationship to create a more harmonious relationship between humans and robots. The proposition is that robots could be environment explorers to minimize the risk to human health. This idea is quite vital for long-range missions to hostile environments or just dealing with the ship’s maintenance during the long journey.
Before robots went to space, scientists sent trained animals like dogs or monkeys to complete essential tasks and carry out experiments. As our robotic capabilities have improved, these tasks have been relegated to robots instead of living animals, thankfully. The first robot sent to space was Sputnik 1, launched on October 4, 1957. Its main task was mainly to orbit the Earth. Dextre, the Canadian space robot arm, was most recently designed to install and replace small equipment on the Space Station. It is the most advanced space robot so far. The ground control team manages it from NASA and the Canadian Space Association.