Future space pioneers could be ‘flesh, blood and electronics’

Astronomer Royal Martin Rees has suggested that cybernetics could facilitate humanity’s future among the stars.

The human body is certainly not built for space exploration – whenever we venture beyond the protective atmosphere of our own world it is necessary to cocoon ourselves within a carefully constructed vessel or orbital platform and even that doesn’t entirely keep us safe.

In order to truly thrive in space and on other worlds, therefore, we may eventually have to accept that our bodies are not up to the task and that some sort of ‘upgrade’ might be in order.

According to Astronomer Royal Martin Rees, cybernetic augmentation could be the key to truly thriving away from our own planet and to make it possible for us to live safely on other worlds.

Speaking during this year’s Hay Festival, he described how future Mars explorers could be a mixture of “flesh, blood and electronics.”

“These intrepid explorers on Mars will be out of the clutches of the regulators and they will have every incentive to modify themselves because they are very badly adapted for Mars,” he said.

“They will use all these techniques to adapt themselves. Within a generation or two they could become a quite different species.”

“We don’t know what mixture they will be of flesh and blood and electronic, but if they become electronic then of course they could be near immortal.”

“If that is the case they would be able to make a very long interstellar voyage, hibernating for millennia.”


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