Per aspera ad astra, the astronaut said
Some would argue, Bob Park is one of them, that robots could do a much better job of exploring space (robots everywhere agree). They also argue that it would be much safer to send robots instead of humans (here robots disagree). Sending robots is logical in a Vulcan sort of way, there are no humans on the Hubble telescope after all, or with the Spirit and Opportunity Mars-rovers. The moon landings were cool and all, but what did we get out of it? Moon rocks?
Technically, bussrides are form of space travel, but that’s not quite the same thing as falling through outer space strapped to a giant rocket. Sending robots to explore other planets are exciting and you may learn a lot, but it’s not the same as traveling to another world, a truly exotic world, in person. With robots you get the data, but you miss half the point of exploring space in the first place.
Scientist do what they do for the pleasure of making discoveries, not for the applications that may come of them. The astronauts who landed on the moon didn’t travel all that way for some moon rocks, they went for the adventure. Paleontologist don’t go around saying that they wan’t to learn about dinosaurs in preparation of velociraptors attacking. They do paleontology because they love it.
Robotic space travel is great, especially if you’re a robot, but if you’re not, you’re missing out.