Do you like space? How about space aliens?
If you like the idea of space exploration, I am happy to report that the SETI program from the SETI Institute in California is back in action. For the uninformed, SETI, or Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence, is the research program which is in the quest for identifying and exploring alien life forms in outer space. You have probably seen the pictures of the research facility in some movies – an array of dish antennae arranged in neat matrices and moving in unison, all collecting large swaths of data from the sky.
You are asking, ‘what do you mean, “back in action” , right?. Let me give you some background. Due the financial cluster fuck that happened in 2008 the US debt sky rocketed and the government had to make cut backs. And of course, when you need to make financial sacrifices, it makes sense to cut funding for non-profit organizations, such as the SETI Institute, which is what the administration did. Next to the decision of ending the manned space shuttle program, this one may not seem like a big thing.
In any case, the great people of SETI who are committed to their mission of exploring alien life, turned around and asked the citizens and space aficionados to help them out financially. Its great to see when people show what they care about with their money. Donations from all over the country has poured in and now it has been announced that they will be able turn those telescopes back in to operation. With these telescopes scouring every nook and corner of outer space, looks like we will be hunting down to space aliens in little time. Note: Time here is measured in light years.
The interest to find alien life comes from the basic need of us, humans, to know if we are alone in this endless universe. If we came to existence simply through a series of random biological mutations at the mercy of the environment, then there is every bit of a chance that life form could exist in other planets. Of course, there is no guarantee that these alien creatures will look like us or even find us friendly. If Hollywood is right then there is more chance that they will try to annihilate us rather than be cuddly with us. In any case, our natural curiosity will always push us to find the answers about our celestial neighbors. With SETI program back in action, we are that much closer to those answers.
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I am on a blog-a-day-for-a-year crusade. Keep me motivated with your comments. Or help me pack for my upcoming India trip.