We as a race have spent thousands of years looking up at the stars and wondering “is there anybody out there?”
Wondering and hoping and guessing and imagining…
Is this because we as a species are so lonely? We want to meet other species and to talk to them, and we want to learn from them… Because we want to stop being the only people in the universe.
Then one day we started to realize that things were maybe not going so good for us.
We got scared that we were going to blow each other up… We got scared that we were going to break our planet permanently and that in a few hundred years we were all going to be dead and gone. And even if there were other people out there, we’d never get to meet them…
So we built robots and we gave them hands made of metal and brains made of silicon. We gave them names and we pretended they were people, and we asked them “hey, you wanna go exploring?”
And of course they did – because we had made them in our own image.
So maybe in a few hundred years we won’t be around anymore. Maybe, yeah, the planet will be a mess and we’ll all be dead, and if other people come from the stars we won’t be around to meet them and say “Hi! How are you? We’re people too! You’re not alone anymore!”
Maybe we’ll be gone; but our robots will still be here… Robots with beat-up hulls and metal brains.
Robots with names.
And if the other people come and ask, “who were these people that created you? What were they like?” the robots can say, “When they made us, they called us Discovery; they called us Curiosity; they called us Explorer; they called us Spirit. They must have thought that was pretty important.”
“And they told us to tell you hello.”