Thursday, January 21, 2010

Messages to ETI aboard Kepler and exploring mars via Antarctica

Welcome! "Alien Life" tracks the latest discoveries and thoughts in the various elements of the famous Drake Equation. Here's today's news:
g Stars - Could our solar system’s gas giants combine to make a second star? See article.
g Abodes - NASA’s IceBite team are studying a spot on Earth where the terrain resembles that of the Phoenix landing site on Mars. The place: a mile above sea level in Antarctica’s McMurdo Dry Valleys. The goal: to test ice-penetrating drills for a future mission to Mars. Click the Ask a Scientist button above to ask the team questions. See article.
g Life - Millions of years ago a group of wasps "decided to" become vegetarians and so today we have the bee. Some of their cousins "decided to" quit flying and so became the ants, but that is another story. Although only about 20% of bees are social, honey bees are very social indeed. It has been stated by several biologists that, if it were not for the honey bee pollinating plants, humans would only last 3 or 4 years as our food supply would disappear. See article. Note: This article is from 2009.
g Message - Although the main payload onboard the Kepler spacecraft consists of instruments to detect other worlds, a second package reminds anyone who may intercept the craft millennia from now of the hopes of the generation that launched it. Over a six-month period, tens of thousands of people submitted messages explaining why they thought the Kepler mission is important. These were gathered onto a DVD and attached to the spacecraft. See article. Note: This article is from 2009.
g Cosmicus - NASA has slashed its multi-million dollar price tag for museums looking to acquire one of its three space shuttle orbiters after they are retired later this year. The due date for the reduced payment, which dropped by almost one-third, was also advanced to be six months earlier than previously announced. See article.
g Aftermath - Freelance writer Mark Pendergrast examines the folly of the Anthropic Principle in a 2005 newspaper op-ed. See article.

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