Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Post-Detection Taskgroup and bringing back rocks from Mars

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 - Mars sample return – bringing rocks from Mars back to Earth – has been on NASA’s wish list for decades, and work is underway to develop the necessary technology. Recently a group of scientists field-tested a robotic system that can drill into rocks, collect small core samples and store them for later retrieval. See article.
g Message - If some day we decide to transmit intentional messages to the stars, rather than solely listen as current SETI programs do, what would we say? What sort of first impression would we want to give our celestial correspondents? See article. This article is from 2003.
g Cosmicus - With Republicans set to lead the House following the recent midterm elections, new doubts are rising over the state of NASA's 2011 budget. See article.
g Aftermath - For more than fifty years, an international network of astronomers has been probing the sky with sensitive radio telescopes, listening for any sign of intelligent life beyond Earth. So far, of course, there hasn’t been so much as a peep from ET, which means SETI — the search for extraterrestrial intelligence — is one of the few sciences that has to make do, at least for now, with no data. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done. A group known as the SETI Post-Detection Taskgroup, established in 2001, has been pondering what the effects of first contact might be, and what actions, if any, earthlings should take in the event that we do one day hear an unambiguous signal above the random noise of interstellar space. See article.

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