As an adult, my favorite style of science fiction is that set in worlds entirely possible in our future.  As much as I love Star Trek (TNG all the way!) it’s much more science fiction fantasy than a glimmer of hope for a real future, as I had always imagined as a kid.

robonaut2-face-lgThe fact is that we won’t be traveling at warp speed anytime in our conceivable future.  More realistically, humans will be traveling much more slowly amongst the stars.  Even if we could travel at the speed of light, it would take one full year to go the distance of one light year, and then another year back.   When you start plugging in the distances of any of the nearest stars that we’ve discovered having exoplanets, whole generations will have waxed and waned before those who left on the journey could even get home, and that’s only if the travelers were in suspended animation and didn’t experience the true passage of all that time.

I’ve recently been watching through one of my favorite SciFi series of all time, one that was Fireflied* long before Firefly was treated with such atrocious disrespect.  I’m talking of course, about Earth 2, a show that managed to get more episodes than Firefly, and was equally full of potential.  What was so good about it was that it was grounded in reality, at least so far as the methods and consequences of space travel.

One thing that is becoming abundantly clear is that humans will need help while traveling to other planets; we’ll need robots to assist us along the way.  We’re already seeing great advances in robotics, and it isn’t unreasonable to imagine a skeleton crew of robots scuttling around a space ship, maintaining its function and safety while the crew is tucked snugly in their cryo-stasis pods.

krod-mandoon_matt-lucas-bioimageSo where am I going with all this?  It seems NASA has provided us with yet another aspect of science fiction that we will now be able to consider reality, a robot astronaut!   While this isn’t exactly breaking news, it’s still pretty cool, and even more so when, having seen the picture in the article, I instantly recognized that robot from somewhere else… Earth 2!

*FYI, to be Fireflied is when a sci-fi series (fantasy in some instances) with incredible potential is canceled unjustly, without even a chance to develop, such as it happened to Firefly, Earth 2, Legend of the Seeker, and Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire!

Image Source: [Spiritsspace] [Space-Travel] [ComedyCentral]