Robotic Spacecraft

Europe has a new spacecraft to ferry supplies up to the International Space Station. It is just about ready for its maiden flight, and it is completely robotic -- it has no accomodations for human pilots or passengers, and burns up on re-entry so it has no use as a "life boat" either.

Europe Creates its Own Space Vehicle

From the article:By eliminating humans from the system, the design and manufacturing process is highly simplified -- no life support; no extra weight and space for chairs, controls, displays; no need to worry about re-entry; No "escape hatches"; etc.

See also Robots and Nasa and Robotic repair call to Hubble taking shape.

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