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More than a moon shot!

The moon

NASA’s launch of Artimus marks a milestone in space exploration. This is simply because the initial mission, just to put people in a capsule around the moon, may end up making history. That’s due to the fact they might end up the farthest from earth than man has ever been. This will depend on the position of the moon on that initial shot. But there’s much more to understand than just flying astronauts around Earth’s closest neighbor.

You see, the moon will be a launching pad for a manned mission to Mars. This is possible because of water. Yes, you probably know that we’ve already discovered water on the moon. Water contains both oxygen and hydrogen. Oxygen obviously can be used for us to breethe while hydrogen can be used for fuel. And keep in mind that just the water itself is important for life, human and otherwise. If you think this is all out of reach given the complexity of carrying out such an endeavor, read on.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have already led to great advances in autonomous vehicles and robotics. Don’t think for a moment these won’t be applied to our latest mission to the moon. In fact, we stand to be able to do things we could have only dreamed of back in the Apollo era in the late 1960s and early 70s. Manufacturing with the use of robotics is old hat nowadays, and now we have machines that can pretty much think for themselves. Don’t be afraid to dream a bit more, because advances of mythic proportions are now about to become reality.

AI and ML in Space

In discussing AI and ML with the first person to get a computer to recognize human speech, the conversation drifted to the concept of machines being able to reach the level of consciousness. The subject came up in earnest a few years ago and the prediction was this would happen by sometime in the late 2020s. Yes, we are still on track for that phenomenal advancement in science. This makes the moon shot so much more exciting.

Don’t get lost in the fact exploration of space and planetary objects can be done just with robotics. Think personal assistants. They are on the immediate horizon for us here on Earth. It’s not a very far leap from there to using them in space. As difficult as space exploration now is for humans, it’s going to get easier. With machines doing most of the heavy lifting, we’ll be in a much better position to do the real exploring. It’s time to think big, think beyond a moon shot.

(Picture Credit: Andrew McCarthy and Connor Matherne collaborated last November to push their photography skills to the limit. Their finished product was posted online Saturday, and is curre


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