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#1 Crisp

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 02:46

NASA Ames Director: We’re Closer To Answering, ‘Are We Alone?’

 

1105_earth-like-624x350.jpg

An artist’s illustration of Kepler-62f, a planet in the “habitable zone” of a star that is slightly smaller and cooler than ours. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle)

 

India successfully launched its first space mission to Mars today. The orbiter, named Mangalyaan, is expected to land on Mars on Sept. 24, 2014. It would make India the fourth country to successfully land a spacecraft on Mars.

Meanwhile, scientists have estimated that in the Milky Way, there are 8.8 billion stars with Earth-sized planets at temperatures that would allow water in liquid form.

 

“Its a really neat result, it’s one that nobody expected 20 years ago that we could even do,” Pete Worden, director of NASA’s Ames Research Center, told Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson.

NASA’s Kepler satellite took a census of about 4,000 of the planets in the galaxy, and from there, Warden says, scientists have been able to extrapolate what their solar systems looked like.

The next step is to determine whether the plants are habitable. Near the end of the decade, there will be a mission aimed at determining whether some of the nearest Earth-like neighbors have oxygen and water in their atmospheres.

“In the next five or ten years, I think we’re going have a really good indication of, ‘Are we alone,’” Worden said.

 

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#2 astropheed

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 03:07

And then what? Go and visit them? Kind of far. I almost rather not know. It's far easier to deal with, "Is there life out there?", than it is to deal with, "There is life out there, and we're not smart enough to get to it...".



#3 DocM

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:31

The article starts off badly with -

India successfully launched its first space mission to Mars today. The orbiter, named Mangalyaan, is expected to land on Mars on Sept. 24, 2014. It would make India the fourth country to successfully land a spacecraft on Mars.

Mangalyaan is a Mars orbiter ONLY, not a lander.

As to knowing/not knowing, knowledge is better. It tells you many things about the conditions that can support exobiology and that can give you hints about what happened here.

#4 IsItPluggedIn

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:38

If they found a planet that had life. Imagine how much money would be pored into space exploration. Within 50 years we would have means to get there.

 

We would have a new common goal. Maybe even a global one to work towards. This would bring people together.



#5 +Boo Berry

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:39

It's already been answered.  :alien:



#6 DocM

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:43

That depends on the relative stage of development between us and an alien civilization. On Earth the less developed civilization usually doesn't fare too well, so it could he a period of passive observation, signals and probes approaching from a different direction would be prudent.

#7 dead.cell

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:47

That depends on the relative stage of development between us and an alien civilization. On Earth the less developed civilization usually doesn't fare too well, so it could he a period of passive observation, signals and probes approaching from a different direction, would be prudent.

And just like that, we become the aliens. :|



#8 DocM

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 04:58

Yup, and with the recent rapid advances in bionics and bio-augmentation we'll be the prototype for the BORG too.

Did you ever stop to think that social media is the first baby step towards their hive mind? Implant the comm devices (cell becomes node) and make a direct hardware/wetware connection (already in the works as the brain-machine interface - BMI) and you're half way there.

#9 IsItPluggedIn

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 05:02

If we found a primitive race do you think we would try to help them, leave them alone,  try to rule them or put them in Zoo's and wipe out the rest?



#10 DocM

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 05:03

If smart we'd leave them alone and just observe until they turn outwards and reach the SETI stage. We usually aren't that smart.

#11 thomastmc

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 05:34

Knowing is always better than not knowing. Without knowledge reality becomes a bleak, bland, and boring existence of ignorance. I'm glad that I know that there are stars and galaxies and planets out there, even if I may never be able to visit them. The knowledge itself is very entertaining and thought provoking.
 
Theoretical physicists and Astrophysicists can tell you several ways in which it may be possible for humans to travel to other stars and even other galaxies quickly. We are incapable of testing any of them yet, but they do have the math to back it up. We also don't even know most of what is possible or impossible yet.
 
Even in the 1950's, it was very prudent for someone who was educated and well informed to declare that sending a man to the moon was impossible. It turned out to be extremely possible.
 
Humans will eventually visit these planets, the only question is when. Finding them is the first step.
 
We probably will treat animals on these planets in the same way we treat animals on this planet. Some will become food, others will become zoo attractions. How we treat other intelligent species will be the question. Robots are our new slaves and will even replace all low wage workers eventually. And, with billions of planets to choose from, territory and resources won't be a factor either. We will study more primitive intelligent species, and either cooperate or simply coexist with others.
 

Clarke's Three Laws are three "laws" of prediction formulated by the British writer Arthur C. Clarke. They are:

 

1.When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
2.The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
3.Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.



#12 DocM

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 06:02

Clarke was 100% correct with his three laws of prediction. Also;

No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority.
--Robert A. Heinlein

Today's most public example is how SpaceX is turning rocketry on its ear with their work on reusable, vertically landable launchers. 2 years ago the "experts" laughed, but no more.

#13 Hum

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 10:38

pffft .... It is already very clear, We are NOT Alone.

 

We never were.



#14 OP Crisp

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 13:30

We would have a new common goal. Maybe even a global one to work towards. This would bring people together.

 

and a new wave of terrorism, because the religious fanatics wouldn't be able to accept they're wrong.



#15 DocM

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Posted 07 November 2013 - 13:48

FYI the church has accepted the idea of off-world life for quite some time - just another zip code in creation.