Robert L. Park
University of Maryland
Being there: the Rise of the Virtual Astronaut
One of mankindís greatest voyages of discovery ended September 21, 2003, when the spacecraft Galileo was ordered to plunge into the crushing atmosphere of the giant planet Jupiter. Even in its death spiral, Galileo analyzed the atmosphere and sent the information back to Earth. Telerobots like Galileo are robust extensions of our frail human bodies. It is the scientists who control the telerobots, having become virtual astronauts, who will explore the universe. To explore where no human can ever set foot is our greatest adventure.