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Re: Argosy Mission Overhaul

>From Brian

>Yesterday, AFTER I sent the mission overhaul letter, I went to the mall and
>found a book called _The Physics of Immortality_.  It described Neumman
>probes (I think I spelled that right) that were launched to the nearer 
>(including TC!).  These probes explored the system, replicated themselves,
>and launched to other stars.  It was a slow process of exploring the 
>but is worked simply because it assumed complete robotic automation that
>almost never failed.
>In theory we can and will develop such robots but that could be centuries
>into the future.  Assuming that lightsails are the fasted and safest forms
>of propulsion when and if the automation advances occur, humanity will
>expand by first sending his robots to the stars.  They will set up power
>arrays, laser cannons to decelerate incoming colonists, and some
>neighborhoods for those colonists to start new lives in.  They might also
>just terraform a few planets and moons while they are at it.

>In that case the mission would be redundant, since their would be no
>further reason to explore.

There would still be exploring left to do.  The robots could probably do 
only so much depending on AI sophistication and programing.  Humans 
decisions would be required for followup study on new and interesting data. 

But you are right.  Overall, human exploration would be redundant, at least 
for the purpose of determining the potential habitability of star systems. 
 And that was or at least should have been a major point of my summary.