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Jun 24, 2022

Tianwen-1 and Zhurong, China’s Mars orbiter and rover

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China’s first Mars mission will search for pockets of water beneath the surface that could host life.


As China’s first Mars mission, is uniquely ambitious. No nation had ever attempted to send an orbiter and rover to Mars on the first try. But China succeeded, making a historic victory.

Tianwen-1 arrived in Mars orbit as a single spacecraft. Once on Mars, the landing platform extended a ramp, allowing the Zhurong rover to roll gently onto the surface—similar to the way China’s Chang’e Moon rovers are deployed.

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Jun 24, 2022

Preparing for the Discovery of Alien Life

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Exploring Otherness on Earth and Beyond is a new research project of ours with the goal to prepare us for the discovery of alien life. For more info, see.

Jun 17, 2022

China’s ‘alien’ signal almost certainly came from humans, project researcher says

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The possibility also remains that if aliens are sending us, or unintentionally leaking, signals across the vast expanse of the cosmos, they may not be encoded in radio waves, but in ways that we haven’t yet developed the technology to understand.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if we were on the wrong track. If you look at the history of SETI, the original ideas proposed around 200 years ago were things like ‘let’s build some big fires on Earth’; ‘let’s have some big mirrors that reflect sunlight to the Martians’ or ‘let’s build some mile-long right-angled triangles to show aliens we know about Pythagorean Theorem,’ and now we look back and say those guys were idiots,” Werthimer said. “So, what’s to say that 200 years from now people won’t look back at us and ask why we didn’t use tachyons or subspace communication? But you’ve got to do what you know how to do.”

Despite the dispiriting likelihood that these signals have an Earthbound source, SETI astronomers are still fairly confident that we’re not alone in the universe. And that one day, we may dig up something real amid all of our own backchatter.

Jun 17, 2022

Swarms of Satellites Around the Sun Could Supply Us With Unlimited Power

Posted by in categories: alien life, engineering, physics, satellites

This sci-fi megastructure has captivated big thinkers for decades. A leading expert in astrobiology tells us how to construct one.


The paper focused more on theory than engineering, and Dyson provided scant details on what such a megastructure might look like or how we might build one. He described his sphere only as a “habitable shell” encircling a star. But that was enough to captivate and inspire astrophysicists, scientists, and sci-fi writers. In some depictions, the Dyson Sphere, as it became known, appears as a massive ring encircling a star and reaching nearly to Earth. In others, the Sphere completely encases the sun, a hulking megastructure capturing every bit of that star’s energy. In addition to scientific works, Dyson Spheres have appeared in novels, movies, and TV shows—including Star Trek —as a home for advanced civilizations.

Dyson himself understood the challenges of constructing such a massive structure, and he was skeptical that it might ever happen. Nonetheless, his Sphere has stirred ambitious ideas about the future of our civilization, and it continues to be offered as a solution to some of humanity’s most dire dilemmas. Harnessing the total energy of our sun—or any star—would solve our immediate and long-term energy crisis, but when civilization gains access to the complete energy output of a star, meeting our terrestrial energy needs is just the beginning.

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Jun 16, 2022

China Says It May Have Detected Signals From Alien Civilizations

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The narrow-band electromagnetic signals detected by Sky Eye — the world’s largest radio telescope — differ from previous ones captured and the team is further investigating them, the report said, citing Zhang Tonjie, chief scientist of an extraterrestrial civilization search team co-founded by Beijing Normal University, the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the University of California, Berkeley.

It isn’t clear why the report was apparently removed from the website of the Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of China’s science and technology ministry, though the news had already started trending on social network Weibo and was picked up by other media outlets, including state-run ones.

In September 2020, Sky Eye, which is located in China’s southwestern Guizhou province and has a diameter of 500 meters (1,640 feet), officially launched a search for extraterrestrial life. The team detected two sets of suspicious signals in 2020 while processing data collected in 2019, and found another suspicious signal in 2022 from observation data of exoplanet targets, Zhang said, according to the report.

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Jun 15, 2022

There Could Be Four Hostile Civilizations in the Milky Way

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In 1977, the Big Ear Radio Telescope at Ohio State University picked up a strong narrowband signal from space. The signal was a continuous radio wave that was very strong in intensity and frequency and had many expected characteristics of an extraterrestrial transmission. This event would come to be known as the Wow! Signal, and it remains the strongest candidate for a message sent by an extraterrestrial civilization. Unfortunately, all attempts to pinpoint the source of the signal (or detect it again) have failed.

This led many astronomers and theorists to speculate as to the origin of the signal and what type of civilization may have sent it. In a recent series of papers, amateur astronomer and science communicator Alberto Caballero offered some fresh insights into the Wow! Signal and extraterrestrial intelligence in our cosmic neighborhood. In the first paper, he surveyed nearby Sun-like stars to identify a possible source for the signal. In the second, he estimates the prevalence of hostile extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy and the likelihood that they’ll invade us.

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Jun 9, 2022

NASA just passed a major milestone in the hunt for alien life

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We’re one step closer to Europa.


Engineers completed the Clipper’s main body, which includes some of the most vital components for the 2024 mission to Jupiter’s mysterious moon.

Jun 5, 2022

Life on Mars: A critical tool in the search for aliens is delayed

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We won’t give up on the search for life on Mars.


The situation developed in the next days and weeks, leading to a series of emergency meetings. On March 17, the European Space Agency (ESA)’s council and member states decided to suspend our mission. We won’t know for sure what happens next until a study by ESA and industry partners reports back in July — but there are causes for optimism.

The search for subterranean life on Mars

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Jun 5, 2022

First Mexican-born woman travels to space with Blue Origin

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CNN — A rocket built by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin carried its fifth group of passengers to the edge of space, including the first-ever Mexican-born woman to make such a trek.

The 60-foot-tall suborbital rocket took off from Blue Origin’s facilities in West Texas at 9:26 A.M ET, launching a group of six people to more than 62 miles above the Earth’s surface — which is widely deemed to make the boundary of outer space — and giving them a few minutes of weightlessness before parachuting to landing.

Most of the passengers paid an undisclosed sum for their seats. But Katya Echazarreta, an engineer and science communicator from Guadalajara, Mexico, was selected by a nonprofit called Space for Humanity to join this mission from a group of thousands of applicants.

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Jun 3, 2022

Follow the Salt if You Want to Find Life on Mars

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Posted on Big Think.

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