NASA director Dan Goldin says that the future of space exploration calls for establishing a "virtual presence" in space; this is the goal of NASA's New Millenium Program.
In the past, robotic spacecraft have been directly controlled by ground control. This limits a spacecraft's ability to react to unexpected variables and to explore areas that are difficult to reach with current communications systems. Remote Agent is the newest approach to confronting these limitations by enabling spacecraft to be more autonomous, and, in turn, more effective and efficient than ever before. Space missions using a remote agent will be able to 1) explore areas unreachable by our communication system, like under the ice of Europa, 2) be more reliable, 3) be able to take advantage of unexpected science opportunities, and 4) be less expensive.
What exactly can Remote Agent do?
How are satellites with no remote agent controlled?
How are remote agents used?
What is the New Millennium Program?
Why can't spacecraft explore under the ice of Europa using past technologies?
How does Remote Agent enable missions to take advantage of unexpected science opportunities?
How does Remote Agent help cut costs?
What does it mean to be autonomous?
Why is it important for spacecraft to be autonomous?
Why don't we just send astronauts on deep space trips?