The search for worlds circling stars far beyond our solar system will resume in the coming weeks with NASA’s launch of a spacecraft scientists hope will enlarge the known catalog of so-called exoplanets believed capable of supporting life.
NASA plans to send the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, into orbit from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket set for blast-off between April 16 and June on a two-year, $337-million mission.
The latest NASA astrophysics endeavour is designed to build on the work of its predecessor, the Kepler space telescope, which discovered the bulk of some 3,500 exoplanets documented during the past 20 years, revolutionizing one of the newest fields in space science. See: Exoplanets Search
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
Almost endless are the movies, shows, games that present to us visions of space colonization, spaceships, supposed aliens and space wars. They serve a useful purpose in kindling our awareness to possible space life.
There is usually a misrepresentation of the realties of living successfully for many years off earth in an “awayhome”. A gross over simplification.
In reality, a serious effort to colonize a distant planet requires an assembly of long term space craft with no less than 40,000 humans and all the other accoutrements of life (such as bees) whereas the scifi shows leaves us to think that only a few humans is needed.
In that it sets the viewer to thinking about the future this series will include posts and links of science fiction articles but omitting stories that we see as being only sensational.
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 ?
Bright Scientists warn us that for Earth Life to flourish we must extend that life away from Earth to a Space Colony. We were even told by the much celebrated physicist, Stephen Hawking, to do so in no more than 150 earth years of the calendar or perish. Whatever the truth it is generally accepted that we must start an Earth Colony at some point in time to flourish.
Easier Said Than Done
SCIENCE fiction is filled with visions of galactic empires. How people would spread from star system to star system, and communicate with each other in ways that could hold such empires together once they had done so, is, though, very much where the “fiction” bit comes in. The universal maximum speed of travel represented by the velocity of light is usually circumvented by technological magic in such works. The truth is that, unless there has been some huge misunderstanding of the laws of physics, human colonisation of the galaxy will be hard.
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.
And so we begin. We have no idea where to go. I will not be alive to see the end.