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European Space Agency gets 9.5% budget increase in 2017 watch

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    When we leave the EU does that mean we aren't part of the European Space Agency?
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    Good news, maybe more jobs for astrobiologists... I wish
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    Fantastic news for European science! Still, a budget of €5.75billion is still a bit small, given so many countries are contributing to it simultaneously, so hopefully there will be significant rises in the future as well.
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    Although i'm open to funding our own this is great news, the UK is a large part of the space agency and gets numerous contracts.

    Our wider space industry is thriving too as we fight for third place in the global race (the US and China lead the way).
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    No, the two are separate.
    As the whole idea of public investment in science (or anything) appears to be anathema to the modern Tory party, I am quite sure they will be trying to link them. The Tories opposed funding to ESA originally and we only contribute 8% of it, compared to 22% from Germany and 14% from Italy. The programmes have had a big beneficial effect on the European hi-tech economy and the UK should be at the forefront of such research, not lagging in the back row.
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    *in yarkshire voice*

    ey oop lass. we need mills and clog factories oop narth. tha's talkin' reet soft about astronarts and t'moon.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    As the whole idea of public investment in science (or anything) appears to be anathema to the modern Tory party, I am quite sure they will be trying to link them. The Tories opposed funding to ESA originally and we only contribute 8% of it, compared to 22% from Germany and 14% from Italy. The programmes have had a big beneficial effect on the European hi-tech economy and the UK should be at the forefront of such research, not lagging in the back row.
    The British space sector is actually thriving so suggestions that we are not at the forefront of the European hi-tech race is folly (Germany is the single European nation that can challenge us on this front).

    The difference between the British and European approaches is that most British involvement is in the private sector and building satellite components along with new technologies. The funding for ESA goes on probes and the like.

    Note that i'm not against space telescopes and the like and would probably outspend Germany. TESS will likely show that we are not alone within a decade.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    The British space sector is actually thriving so suggestions that we are not at the forefront of the European hi-tech race is folly (Germany is the single European nation that can challenge us on this front).

    The difference between the British and European approaches is that most British involvement is in the private sector and building satellite components along with new technologies. The funding for ESA goes on probes and the like.

    Note that i'm not against space telescopes and the like and would probably outspend Germany. TESS will likely show that we are not alone within a decade.
    Can you provide more info? I was very much considering an msc in space systems engineering but rather worried about job prospects in the UK.
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    (Original post by hezzlington)
    Can you provide more info? I was very much considering an msc in space systems engineering but rather worried about job prospects in the UK.
    I see little to worry about. Funding for the ESA is solid and not linked to EU membership, the type of manufacturing i imagine you'll be doing is less cost dependent than quality/skills dependent.

    I believe the space sector was targeting a 10% global market share by 2030, EU exit should not substantially affect that.
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    This is good news.Thats the only good thing about trump.He wants to get NASA more involved in deep space exploration.Of course he wants to do that as opposed to climate science but I suppose you can't have everything.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    Why is that likely?
    Kepler has scanned one small patch of the sky (deeply to a few thousand light years) and found over 4000 planets. More importantly though, it has found that rocky planets do exist around Red Dwarfs (the most common type of star).

    TESS will scan the whole sky (the nearest 200,000 stars actually) including the tonne of Red Dwarfs in our own stellar neighborhood (there are more than 500 stars within 100 light years of Earth) so it's very likely that we will find some small, rocky planets nearby.

    Next, the James Webb telescope will be going up in 2017 too and that one is capable of scanning a planets atmosphere to tell us what the chemical composition is. Since industrial societies are not exactly clean, it's a fair possibility that we can find some evidence.

    ..

    Decades ago it was believed that the solar system was the exception to the rule and that there might only be 10,000 planets in our galaxy.

    What we have found since is simply amazing in that it appears that wherever nature can put a planet, it does.

    The number of estimated rocky planets in our galaxy now... 40-80 Billion!
    The number of Earths according to NASA... 1 Billion!!



    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.eec96f0ba075

    "

    Previous estimates of eta-Earth suggest that 15-25% of stars host potentially habitable planets. These estimates are based largely on discoveries of planets orbiting the cooler stars called M dwarfs. These new discoveries suggest that the statistics for sun-like stars are roughly in-line with estimates from the cooler M-type stars. So how does that translate to the number of planets in the galaxy? M, K, and G dwarfs comprise about 90% of the stars in the galaxy. Conservatively speaking, if 15% of stars have a planet between 1 and 1.6 times the size of Earth in the Habitable Zone, then you'd expect 15% of 90% of 100 billion stars to have such planets. That's 14 billion potentially habitable worlds.
    M type stars are the most common in the galaxy comprising about 70% of the population of Main Sequence stars.
    "
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    1 billion Earth-like planets? That's a lot. But there can't be many other civilisations out there. If there were, you'd expect one of them to be tens or hundrens of thousands of years ahead of us (that is nothing in terms of the age of the universe), and therefore one of them should have already started colonising the Earth by now (considering that the size of the Universe is 'only' 100,000 light years across, if there were many civs in the galaxy, there'd be some much closer, like 10,000 ly away, and they'd have had plenty of time to locate our Earth-like planet, send probes, invade, etc.).
    If we work from the basis that the solar system is the norm then there may be no reason to visit a relatively normal looking place. Our region of space may be a relatively peaceful area of a chaotic galaxy.

    There could be any number of reasons considering that we have only had satellites for 70 years.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    1 billion Earth-like planets? That's a lot. But there can't be many other civilisations out there. If there were, you'd expect one of them to be tens or hundrens of thousands of years ahead of us (that is nothing in terms of the age of the universe), and therefore one of them should have already started colonising the Earth by now (considering that the size of the Universe is 'only' 100,000 light years across, if there were many civs in the galaxy, there'd be some much closer, like 10,000 ly away, and they'd have had plenty of time to locate our Earth-like planet, send probes, invade, etc.).
    The universe isn't 100,000 light years across, it is of unknown dimensions but definitely bigger than 25bn light years across. Perhaps you were thinking of our galaxy?

    We are in a thinly populated (in terms of stars) remote part of a spiral arm well away from the densely packed central regions of the galaxy. It seems plausible that any multi-system civilisations would be much more likely to arise there, where stars (and therefore planets) are in relatively easy reach of each other and can more speedily communicate. Out here, it could easily be 10,50, 100 or 500 light years to the next planet containing sentient beings. (Or more.) In the central parts, it could be a light year or two, making communication straightforward using technology we know about.

    Another possibility though is that pan-galactic civilisations do exist, but they are extremely cautious about new members, carefully monitoring and vetting them over long periods. Therefore the earth would be under remote monitoring whilst they wait to see if we qualify.

    There are many more possibilities, including that simply no sentience has arisen in our galaxy other than us as yet (unlikely), that the speed of light will always be a technological limitation and therefore it is very hard for inter-species travel and therefore not at all statistically surprising that they are not here, or perhaps they just all happen to be busy on the other side of the galaxy from us.

    Space is so huge and we know so little, that we definitely need a lot more information. We should be working on ways to send probes to the stars and also on building massive space telescopes on the moon and by other means that can study extrasolar planets in detail.
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    What I dont get is that all these space agencies going it alone. Why dont they combine their budgets and work together? Wasnt there a mission proposed to drill into the icy surface of one of amazon's moons to sample the ocean beneath? Sounds ridiculously expensive and needs international co-operation to achieve.

    I would be interested in a Cassini like mission to either Neptune or Uranus. Those planets have only ever been visited once. The others have had their fair share of exploration. Mars practically has its own GPS.
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    (Original post by Laomedeia)
    What I dont get is that all these space agencies going it alone. Why dont they combine their budgets and work together? Wasnt there a mission proposed to drill into the icy surface of one of amazon's moons to sample the ocean beneath? Sounds ridiculously expensive and needs international co-operation to achieve.

    I would be interested in a Cassini like mission to either Neptune or Uranus. Those planets have only ever been visited once. The others have had their fair share of exploration. Mars practically has its own GPS.
    They do more than most issues however we are a divided species with differing aims. Perhaps Trump's dislike of China will start a new space race.

    Nuclear fusion is coming along very well so I'm optimistic that a probe will reach Alpha Centuari before I die.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    They do more than most issues however we are a divided species with differing aims. Perhaps Trump's dislike of China will start a new space race.

    Nuclear fusion is coming along very well so I'm optimistic that a probe will reach Alpha Centuari before I die.
    That won't happen.Its too far away.The voyager spacecraft would have taken 80,000 years to get there if they were headed in the right direction.You cannot accelerate at light speed and even if you could get up to a certain percentage of the speed of light you would still have to figure out how to slow it down and how to avoid having the probe destroyed by debris. Maybe if we all worked together and spent no money on anything else then yeah it might be doable.But that won't happen.Maybe next century.
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    (Original post by Rakas21)
    They do more than most issues however we are a divided species with differing aims. Perhaps Trump's dislike of China will start a new space race.

    Nuclear fusion is coming along very well so I'm optimistic that a probe will reach Alpha Centuari before I die.
    "Nuclear fusion is coming along very well"

    Oh shít!
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    1 billion Earth-like planets? That's a lot. But there can't be many other civilisations out there. If there were, you'd expect one of them to be tens or hundrens of thousands of years ahead of us (that is nothing in terms of the age of the universe), and therefore one of them should have already started colonising the Earth by now (considering that the size of the Universe Galaxy lol is 'only' 100,000 light years across, if there were many civs in the galaxy, there'd be some much closer, like 10,000 ly away, and they'd have had plenty of time to locate our Earth-like planet, send probes, invade, etc.).

    10,000 light years. Do you realise what that actually means? It means that if you travel at 186000 miles every second (without stopping for petrol, fag breaks etc) for 10 millennia, that is the distance you cover. It is unimaginably huge. It took NASA 10 years just to reach Neptune and Pluto's orbit; a microfraction of a single lightyear. Absolutely nothing an alien civilization is able to build will likely come close to that speed either. But even at our spacecraft speeds, theres the dangers of micro meteorites and other more obvious obstacles.

    Interstellar travel is an interesting concept but a very unlikely reality IMO, even for a much more advanced civilization. The biggest likelyhood for detecting alien life would be indirect. Maybe detecting some sort of chemical in the atmosphere of a far off world. Apparently they can do this to a limited degree.
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    Yeah, but suppose there were loads of alien civs in the galaxy, you'd expect some of them to have developed millions of years before our own. God only knows where we'll be in a few million years. I would be very surprised if we didn't get a few probes out. For reference, we only started farming around 10,000 years ago.



    But why wouldn't they send probes? Or perhaps they are being extremely cautious (not wanting to give away the location of their homeworld). But all of them?
    Theres also the odds of life getting started. I believe theres plenty of life out there. But intelligent life that can build rockets and space stations etc? Probably somewhere far off. Really far off. The Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years or so. Life first started probably about 3 billion years ago but its only the last couple of centuries that tech stuff started taking off. Even more recent for really advanced stuff such as nuclear reactors and hadron colliders. So to get to our level of evolution takes quite a bit of time, but its still really unlikely. Of all the animals ever to have lived, only humans have become able to develop tech stuff.

    However the universe is chuffing massive. So massive that even at the most minute odds, an intelligent species will inevitably have developed somewhere. They estimate about a hundred billion stars in our galaxy, most likely to have planets. They estimate a similar number of galaxies in the observable universe. There is also a spectacular variety of life just on our 1 planet. Can you even begin to imagine what could form elsewhere surviving on different chemicals, gases etc?

    Overall I do believe life is definitely out there. Intelligent life I imagine is extremely rare but definitely exists elsewhere, maybe somewhere in a spiral arm of M101. No chance of detecting them at 25 million light years tho.
 
 
 
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