I recently published a post about the qualities that make up the perfect astronaut – the most physically and mentally fit men were the desired qualities of America’s first astronauts. The “strapping young Presbyterian lad” is certainly not the ideal of the modern astronaut, but what about future generations? This is also a continuation of a previous post about the end of Space Shuttle program – with the current manned spaceflight program coming to a close, what is the future, if any, for men in space? (Pictured is NASA’s Robonaut. 2001.)
I recently read Roger Launius and Howard McCurdy’s Robots in Space – Launius is senior curator at the National Air and Space Museum and McCurdy is a professor at the American University. The authors present an interesting possible future for men in space. Namely, they propose that manned spaceflight continue almost entirely without men. Their discussion, and this topic as a whole, borders on science fiction; bear with me as I navigate the murky waters of speculation at Vintage Space.