Interstellar Travel & the Hunt for Life
Project Icarus is a five-year study into the possibility of sending a unmanned ship to another star. The project recently outlined expected scientific benefits, including the search for life.
What's the Latest Development?
Project Icarus, a five-year study into the feasibility of sending an unmanned spacecraft to another star, could provide vast amounts of new scientific data and an extraordinary close-up of habitable foreign planets. The project's director of "Scientific Objectives" recently discussed the science that could be carried out during an interstellar journey and once the craft had arrived at a foreign star system. In choosing a destination for an interstellar craft, priority would be given to a system where a habitable planet could be found.
What's the Big Idea?
There are a number of scientific tasks that could be completed en route to a foreign star system but since these data could be gathered on the way to anywhere, planners would consider the destination of primary importance. Knowledge of star systems within 15 light years outside our own remains limited but can be expected to increase in the coming decades. That discovery process may occur in tandem with technological develops needed to successfully explore foreign star systems.
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China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.
- China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
- In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
- The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Arranged marriages and Western romantic practices have more in common than we might think.
In his book In Praise of Love (2009), the French communist philosopher Alain Badiou attacks the notion of 'risk-free love', which he sees written in the commercial language of dating services that promise their customers 'love, without falling in love'.
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