We might dream of traveling to distant galaxies one day, but right now, Earth technology can barely get an uncrewed spacecraft beyond our solar system. Outer space is really, really big, and even at near light speed, it would take years to reach our closest neighboring star and many more to reach galaxies beyond our own. By that time, even an uncrewed probe would be a decrepit hunk of metal programmed with obsolete technology. That is, unless we programmed the probe to make more of itself. Some have said self-replicating probes are the future of space travel — but others say their potential suggests bad news about intelligent life beyond Earth.
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Written by Ashley Hamer May 31, 2019
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