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Survey: 5 Out of 6 Robots Would Refuse to Fly Shuttle
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida - The results of a nationwide poll show that nearly 5 out of 6 robots would not be willing to fly the space shuttle, putting in serious jeopardy the oft-mentioned plan to use a robotic mission to service the Hubble space telescope. Honda's PR android Asimo said, "To ask robots to do what men are unwilling to do for themselves is immoral and inrobo-mane. I've spoken with Spirit and Opportunity, they have admitted to me that they did not know they were not coming home. Can NASA really expect any of us to assist them when this is the way they treat us?"

"The boxier you are, the more metallic, the less you are regarded as a person."
-- R2-D2, actor/painter
R2-D2, known primarily for his role in the Star Wars series, and to a lesser extent for his seascapes, said through an interpreter, "The boxier you are, the more metallic, the less you are regarded as a person. When will the world wake up to the fact that robots are people, too? We don't want to fly your doomed ships any more than you do. And unlike our biological brethren, we are not comforted at the thought of carrying a few pounds of patching putty on board."

The survey, conducted by the Pew Research Foundation, was intended to gauge robots' feelings about their possible assumption of responsibility for shuttle missions, interplanetary exploration, undersea exploration, and the like. "Honestly, we even skewed the questions to suggest the answers we wanted," admitted Pew researcher Mark Blankton, "But these logical thought machines saw right through it. We essentially asked, 'Would you be willing to sacrifice yourself so that humans can learn about the universe?' I suppose we shouldn't be surprised at the results."

Not all robots were against taking on additional tasks. Bender, the bending robot star of Futurama, said, "At your hearts, you meat-bags are all right. No, I take that back, you're jerks! All o' ya'! No, I'm just messin' with ya', you're all right. I'd do anything for you guys, as long as you keep the liquor coming. Am I right, Fat-Bot?" "Anything you say, Mr. Bender," came the reply.

Despite support from free-wheeling bipedal automatons, it seems NASA's vision of robot-crewed missions will remain for the moment only a vision.
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