Wednesday, March 12, 2008

New careers from space exploration and the social impact humanity will undergo upon discovering life elsewhere

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 Cosmicus - As rockets will be for life in orbit as cars are on Earth, the rocket business is going to grow to have all the infrastructure that the car industry has on Earth: sales operations, hire firms, lease firms, orbital propellant bases, specialized repair shops, licensing, standard maintenance procedures, spare parts suppliers, second-hand stores, innumerable accessories, and scrap dealers. There'll even a whole range of leisure-related activities: races, rallies, collectors, antique dealers and restorers. There'll also be a corresponding range of new careers - pilots and stewardesses, mechanics, parts suppliers, and numerous business roles such as freight-forwarders, traffic-controllers, lease-financiers and insurance. See article.
g Imagining - Among the first and most memorable of "Star Trek" aliens is the salt vampire. Could such a creature exist, though? Forgetting the problem of its facial arrangement (eyes-nose-mouth from top to bottom), which repeats Earth's evolutionary path for vertebrates, the salt vampire receives a mixed review. Consider its shaggy coat, which appears to be inconsistent with bipedalism in a warm climate; humans likely lost their primate hair because doing so allowed our bodies to cool better in the African savanna — and the salt vampire's planet is hot, probably orbiting a G-class star that has entered its red giant phase (judging by climate and sky color). Of course, the creature could be a hominid that just come down from the trees, which certainly would be sparse on such a planet. But its intelligence level indicates a much longer path of evolution. Perhaps the planet was in a cold state before the star entered its red giant phase. On another note, the creature's need for salt is voracious for the chemical is in short supply; that seems at odds with the hot desert climate for halites would form as the sun's expansion caused the seas to evaporate. Possibly, the creature, being the last of its kind, simply had gone mad, expressing its psychosis through murder — which explains why Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock felt no mercy for it when phasering it to death at episode's end! See article.
g Aftermath - With humanity now on the verge of being capable to leave its home world, Earth, scientists have begun to wrestle with the consequences of this next great journey; of the social impact humanity will undergo upon discovering life elsewhere, be it fossil, bacterial or an intelligent civilization. Note: This article is from 1999. See article.

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