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European Space Agency gets 9.5% budget increase in 2017 watch

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    (Original post by Laomedeia)
    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.

    I don't think a lot of people grasp the sheer scale of the universe.To be fair interstellar travel could work for the people on the spacecraft.If you move at close to the speed of light then time will slow down for the people on the spacecraft.Of course back on earth thousands of years will have gone by which is not ideal really. I think the best candidate for finding life is probably on moons like Europa or Saturn's moon Encaeladeus which are both supposed to have oceans beneath the surface.
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    Can't say I agree with this. The money would be much better spent on securing borders and investing in the military. All this space travel stuff can wait until the important issues are sorted out.
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    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    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.
    It all really comes down to the proportion of planets which produce intelligent life. We can sit here today saying how we can calculate the number of stars with planets and the number that are rocky but we still don't know whether the occurrence of intelligent life is 10% or 0.000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000 00000000000000000000000000000000 000000001%. Until we do, we can only guess.
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    (Original post by Len Goodman)
    Can't say I agree with this. The money would be much better spent on securing borders and investing in the military. All this space travel stuff can wait until the important issues are sorted out.
    Heavily disagree with this. The goal of any nation should be to achieve greatness and power, to this end it is vital to aim as high as possible.
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    (Original post by Len Goodman)
    Can't say I agree with this. The money would be much better spent on securing borders and investing in the military. All this space travel stuff can wait until the important issues are sorted out.

    That's incredibly small minded.Thats probably what the cave man said about exploring the world outside his small settlement. There are literally more stars and planets out there than grains of sand on all the beaches of the earth. And you want to stay on a little rock having petty disputes with other countries across imaginary borders.Do you not have any curiosity at all?
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    (Original post by Robby2312)
    That's incredibly small minded.Thats probably what the cave man said about exploring the world outside his small settlement. There are literally more stars and planets out there than grains of sand on all the beaches of the earth. And you want to stay on a little rock having petty disputes with other countries across imaginary borders.Do you not have any curiosity at all?
    As much as you have the right sentiment this idea of a global nation is also stupid so long as the liberal consensus prevents us from bringing order to chaos and imposing our culture on all others.

    Perhaps space technologies will allow us the ships and weaponry to impose that order on the likes of Africa and the Middle East.
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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.).
    I'd say that the most 'plausible' scenario would be that there are a handful of ancient and very well developed civilization out there that simply choose to keep us in the dark.

    For a civilization that has access to the entire universe it would be an imbecility for them to invade a barely post-industrial planet. I'm quite certain it would be of more benefit to them to simply study the Earth, or allow it to develop into a proper space faring civilization itself and see from there.

    In all honesty, I can't see how else it could be explained that the Earth has not yet made contact (other than the conspiracy theories, which might not be all that far fetched) for millions over millions of years.

    As it's been mentioned before, look at what humanity has accomplished very soon after the beginnings of agriculture. And how technological improvements are still accelerating exponentially. With the advent of the singularity, who knows how fast technology could be developed. I don't find it unlikely in the least that a couple other civilizations managed to get through that (out of a possible hundreds of thousands of civilizations).
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    (Original post by JRKinder)
    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.

    you can fund many entire projects with 5.75bn, and don't forget projects are usually spread over many many years
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    (Original post by Mathemagicien)
    How would it be "imbecility" to invade an undeveloped world? It would be quicker, and much more efficient, if they invaded, shuttled off humans for mass dissection and study, and took over the Earth's resources which their technology would be much more efficient at using to quickly develop the Earth. There are only so many resources in the galaxy, and there might even be competition between multiple civilisations; why would they let the Earth's go to waste?
    Do you understand how large the universe is, and by extension, how full of resources it is? And how different certain cultures may be? I'm quite certain that all civilizations who become space faring are not the sort that think they must exterminate anything that isn't controlled by themselves.

    After a full on invasion there would be next to no infrastructure left to use. So what's the point of invading. If anything, it would be an encumbrance to have to clean up all the remnants of human infrastructure following an invasion.

    Enslaving humanity would be imbecilic as a robotic workforce would be far more efficient. So... what's the point of invading. What's the point of trying to stem back rising sea levels.

    I.e. there are far better uses of time by simply developing other planets from scratch.

    Given the rate of technological growth, especially in the case of the singularity happening, civilizations only a few thousand years younger than humanity would likely be able of travelling the galaxy. It's a bit unlikely that there is no civilization out there that could reach us. We would've been gone by now if they had any such mindless interests.
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    (Original post by james813)
    you can fund many entire projects with 5.75bn, and don't forget projects are usually spread over many many years
    NASA had a budget of $19.3 billion in 2016, and given that 22 countries are contributing to the budget of the ESA, it is clear that we can do better. Yes, €5.75 billion is a large amount and much can be accomplished with it (I'm very happy that its budget is increasing), but it could still be a bit higher. Just an opinion, as I'm a huge advocate of scientific funding!
 
 
 
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