Friday, October 30, 2009

Mars rocket passes test and ‘Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials’

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Abodes - During the last ice age, massive glaciers covered much of our planet. However, a region of Alaska, Siberia and the Canadian Yukon remained ice-free. This region, known as Beringia, supported unique organisms and was an important haven for evolution. Now, scientists may have uncovered how Beringia supported such diversity at a time when conditions for life were harsh. See article.
g Life - By using a tourist, sight-seeing Zeppelin airship to study halophilic, extremophile organisms in the San Francisco Bay salt ponds, scientists are looking for clues that could indicate the consequences of climate change through modeling ecosystem change. See article.
g Cosmicus - NASA successfully test fired a new rocket that's designed to replace the aging space shuttle and could one day be used for missions to Mars. See article.
g Aftermath - Book alert: “Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials,” by Michael Michaud, describes a wide variety of speculations by many authors about the consequences for humanity of coming into contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. The assumptions underlying those speculations are examined, and some conclusions are drawn. As necessary background, the book also included brief summaries of the history of thinking about extraterrestrial intelligence, searches for life and for signals, contrasting paradigms of how contact might take place, and the paradox that those paradigms allegedly create. See reviews.

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