The TESS space telescope starts a new era of planet hunting, greatly increasing the odds of finding another truly Earth-like planet among the stars. But how will we know if there is a civilization like ours on an alien world?
The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is a follow-on to the highly successful Kepler space telescope. The Kepler mission discovered more than 2,600 planets orbiting other stars, with thousands more possible detections that have yet to be confirmed. But Kepler only looked at one portion of the sky, a small patch around the constellation Cygnus, about 500 or 600 light-years away. TESS will examine the entire sky over two years and look at stars that are closer to Earth, between 30 and 300 light-years away.
Finding a planet like Earth orbiting another star is not easy because Earth-like planets are small, as planets go. You could fit 1000 Earths inside the planet Jupiter. And to be really Earth-like, a planet must be not too close or too far from its parent star — in the “Goldilocks” or habitable zone where the temperature will allow liquid water to exist on the surface.
And finally, conditions have to be right for organic chemistry to somehow develop into living organisms. Then the possibility exists that those simple organisms could evolve into more complex life forms, and perhaps into intelligent beings who could build telescopes to look out into the cosmos and ask the same question that we are: “Is anyone else out there?”
See: Bob McDonald has a site……
A number of scientists reckon a more modest approach towards spreading life to other star systems might be possible. In the chill of deep space, bacteria somehow shielded from cosmic radiation might survive dormant for millions of years. Perhaps alien worlds could be seeded deliberately with terrestrial micro-organisms that might take hold there, jump-starting evolution on those planets.
There are many obstacles to directed panspermia, as this approach is known—and they are not just technical. Religiously minded critics claim “we’re playing God”, says Claudius Gros, a physicist at Goethe University in Frankfurt, who has floated the idea of scattering photosynthesising bacteria and algae on extrasolar planets. Critics argue in particular that “contaminating” other planets with terrestrial life in this way risks altering, or even destroying, any life that has arisen there independently. For support, they point to present-day concerns that bacteria carried by spacecraft might, if some form of life does exist there, do exactly that to Mars. This debate is hypothetical for now. But it will become more urgent if any of the projects currently being discussed to build probes to travel to nearby star systems gets off the drawing board and into space.
See: Bugs ahoy, from Earth yet.
A NASA spacecraft has been launched on a two-year mission to find faraway planets and about half a million stars.
A SpaceX Falcon rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida, carrying the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS).
TESS is the next generation of exoplanet-hunting tools, with the ultimate goal of finding worlds out among the stars.
See: Hunting Tool
CNSA, the Chinese National Space Agency
ESA, the European Space Agency, several European countries
ISRO, the Indian Space Research Organization
JAXA, the Japanese space agency
NASA, the American space agency
Roscosmos, the Russian space agency
There is no limit to the number of space colonies. All that can secure sufficient finances & skills can set about creating a space colony venture unless otherwise prevented. This includes states, consortium of states, companies within states & so on. The one word “prevented” conjures up many situations though & thoughts of negotiations to produce conglomerates. Oh boy!
I will cover this situation starting now.
Transporting a single individual is the transport of a “Bag of mostly water” together with its myriad contents AND then replacing these contents as needed AND discharging from that bag used contents.
Remember that there are many differing contents of earthen life in that bag. Remember too that there are many different types of bag all of which constitute a part of earthen life.
Science fiction barely talks of these complicating factors but it does get us started thinking (As here.). A good place to start on earth colonization before we even get to the means are the thoughts of Christopher Smith, a leading anthropologist at the University of Portland in a talk he gave at the Perimeter Institute. See: Interstellar Voyaging
How about this system that has a star with seven earth size planets. Moreover three seem to be habitable to Earth life. See: Welcome Sign ?