Cosmic Warfare

THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO “HMMM…”: NASA UNVEILS ...

NASA unveiled a robot named Valkyrie just in time to use it as an entry in the DAPRA challenge, and this one has so many implications and even messages we simply have to talk about it here(thanks again to MS P.H. for sharing this one):

NASA’s Superhero Robot ‘Valkyrie’ Ready For DARPA Challenge

Now, there's any number of things here that made me go "hmmm..." and I'll bet did you too. The first is the name of the robot itself: Valkyrie, conjuring mental images and mind music of Richard Wagner, in his state of sybaritic synaesthesia, composing his librettos and Ring cycle operas, including the famous Ride of the Walkyries, a Teutonic vision of "resurrection" and blond, helmeted "goddesses" with spears who gather up the sacred dead and fly them off to Valhalla, singing all the way over a full orchestra (some off stage and through megaphones incidentally). The only thing lacking was a flying Viking longship(Wagner had already sort of done that flying ship thing with Der Fliegende Hollander. He was strange. Brilliant. But strange.)  Valkyrie, in other words, conjures images not only of Nazis-at-the-opera or in NASA, but of heavenly missions...

Which brings us to the second "hmm": the fact that this is entered in the Diabolically Apocalyptic Research Agency's robot competition. Think of it as a sort of Kammler Contest For Most Bizarre and Out of the Box Engineering Project. You'll note the following paragraphs, which picqued my interest and high octane speculation:

"Valkyrie, which has the official NASA designation of “R5,” stands about 6-feet-2-inches tall and weighs almost 280 pounds. It was designed to compete in the trial stage of the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). In the competition, robots are asked to complete a series of tasks, such as driving a car, walking over rough terrain, attaching a virtual hose, and turning a valve. Essentially, Valkyrie has to be able to operate in the same way a normal person would while under the control of humans who have only minimal training with robots.

"According to DARPA, the main goal of the DRC is to push innovation towards building robots that can take over tasks normally handled by humans. Using robots to perform these tasks could be advantageous in situations deemed too dangerous for humans, such as disaster areas."

Now, having a robot that can drive a car (or pilot a space vehicle or Martian rover, or what have you), walk over rough terrain (like on Mars or the Moon), attach hoses, and turn valves, is a pretty handy thing to have around "in situations deemed too dangerous for humans" such as mining asteroids (or mining anything, anywhere, really), or repairing spacecraft(even those containing humans). Their utility to perform such tasks in space would be cost effective as well, since human asteroid miners would have to be supplied, robots, more or less, would not.

What were really looking at, in other words, is yet more evidence that the long term agenda of the commercial exploitation(and therefore eventual militarization) of space is not merely an inevitability: it is being actively planned and engaged in, and Valkyrie is just another example of how serious the agenda, and those behind it, are.
See you on the flip side.

8 thoughts on “ THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO “HMMM…”: NASA UNVEILS ...”

  1. So now we can look forward to the fusion of Cyclons- Dalaks- Robocop the perfect soulless mindless killers but will our oligarch’s really control these machines. And machines need food too it’s only different from biological creatures and less abundant. But then when have these jerks shown any sort of intelligence at any time of their rule.

  2. Humans are becoming more obsolete in many aspects:
    The in the kill chain, the human is the week link.
    In the food chain; the robot doesn’t need food supplies(ect).
    Of course there are many, many more. The point being, in this space business, & others; the human appears to have no business being “there”.
    As if the movie “Being There” were in an “ood” sense about a human in a robot world. They’re programed(robots) to expect “humans” ‘being “there”‘.

  3. Reminds me of Robby the robot in the 1956 sci-fi movie “The Forbidden Planet”

    Also features Walter Pidgeon as Dr. Edward Morbius, the inventor of Robby and the extremely smart race of the Krell. Seems like someone had a very large imagination for 1956. The Japanese have been trying to perfect robots or many years, they just don’t seem to get it to do everything we can do, or have they??

  4. Odd choice of a name, beyond the Wagner and Teutonic mythology: The Valkyrie was the name for the B70 bomber; prototypes made and flown in the early 1960s. Shaped like the later Concord, but mach 3 instead of mach 2.

    It’s rumored that the Air Force revived the program in secret, not as a bomber, but as a launch vehicle for rockets carrying satellites after the Challenger exploded–flying them out of Utah and Nevada.

    So a known modern weapons delivery system has been renamed as robot. Again: Odd.

  5. Why do I have the uneasy feeling these robots won’t just be used for mining asteroids?

    Oh, I re-watched Terminator last night, that’s why.

    Drones and robots that can drive a car: great future we’re heading into, folks.

    1. And in T2 one of the machines is working with/for John Connor. Then in the TV series it’s pretty clear some machines and humans are trying to work on coexistence.

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