Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The pattern of life in rocks and finding the most efficient path for spacecraft

Welcome! “Alien Life” tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. You may notice that this and future entries are shorter than usual; career, family and book deal commitments have forced me to cut back some of my projects. Now, here’s today’s news:
g Abodes - Scientists at The University of Arizona will build a prototype instrument to demonstrate their revolutionary idea for a satellite-borne remote sensing system. It will measure water vapor, temperature and ozone anywhere over the globe with unprecedented vertical resolution and accuracy. See article.
g Life - Kimberley Warren-Rhodes has spent countless hours in some of the world’s driest deserts, turning over rocks. Tens of thousands of rocks. What is she hoping to find? The pattern of life. See article.
g Intelligence - Have you Googled yourself lately? According to a survey (PDF) by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, there is a good chance you have. See article.
g Cosmicus - New software for complex space missions will help mission planners find the most efficient path for spacecraft traveling to distant locations. To develop the software, researchers studied NASA's Cassini mission, one of the most complicated missions to date and also one of the most important for astrobiologists. See article.

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