Remote Agent

How are remote agents used?

What are the dangers of remote agents?

Ships with remote agents on board face no different dangers than ships without remote agents. Remote agents are an advanced controlling software that may actually make them more "nimble" (since they don't have to wait for instructions from Earth) in times of crisis.

One thing that isn't a danger is that they will "go insane" and kill their crew or sabotage the mission, like the HAL 9000 in Arthur C. Clarke's 2001. Remote agents are programs that don't have emotions or a personality. They are simply algorithms that work on a knowledge database.

However, the biggest danger with remote agents is the same in any space mission: the unexpected. When the Apollo 13 mission experienced a quintuple simultaneous failure, no one knew what do. If something similar were to happen to DS1, it might not know how to respond. When such catastrophic failures happen to DS1, it reverts to a "safe" mode, where it won't hurt itself further, and signals the ground station for help.

What does agent mean?
Is Remote Agent like the robots in science fiction movies?
What are the advantages of remote agents?
What is a remote agent?
What makes DS1 send distress signals?
How does NASA communicate with spacecraft?

What are the distinguishing characteristics of agents as opposed to a normal program?
Why don't we just send astronauts on deep space trips?
What kind of data is DS1 sending back?