You're welcome, Rob. The fact that I write a lot about NASA and others working on space exploration robots pretty much sums up my views. I think the idea of human exploration is very catchy, and has a lot of psychological momentum behind it, but I don't think it's a likely reality, either technically, financially or politically.
Rob, thanks for this report on what NASA is up to. I've looked at some of the pieces of what they're doing, such as the 3D printer development, some of the robotics and rover R&D, and their interest in developing more private-sector materials and other tech for human space flight: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=268174 It's great to get a firsthand overview of what they're thinking about. Lucky you to have that tour and thanks for sharing it.
Just the thought of being human mission ready in three years is intriguing and goes to show that NASA is not just wasting money. I would also think that NASA would be supportive of private ventures to fill in the spaces where they don't have budget.
After talking with NASA scientists, it's my impression that yes, NASA is supportive of private-sector space developments. And while NASA continues to develop technologies to support human-based missions, they have yet to get a go-ahead from our political leaders.
The climate between NASA and private space companies is supposed to be very good now. Does anyone have more information about a Space-X and NASA collaboration for manned missions ? Supposedly the Falcon was designed to be human-rated from the start, instead of a corgo-rated version to be followed by a human-rated version.
According to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the factors in the collapse of the original World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001, was the reduction in the yield strength of the steel reinforcement as a result of the high temperatures of the fire and the loss of thermal insulation.
Robots are getting more agile and automation systems are becoming more complex. Yet the most impressive development in robotics and automation is increased intelligence. Machines in automation are increasingly able to analyze huge amounts of data. They are often able to see, speak, even imitate patterns of human thinking. Researchers at European Automation
call this deep learning.
The promise of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices, gadgets, and appliances we use every day will be able to communicate with one another. This potential is not limited to household items or smartphones, but also things we find in our yard and garden, as evidenced by a recent challenge from the element14 design community.
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