§ 5.15: SETI - the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence
Man is the dominant species on Earth and in its solar system, but man probably is not nearly the greatest life form in the Universe.
The social impact on societies on Earth of discovering more highly evolved life beyond our solar system may be greater than any other discovery to date. In the last 100 years of man, just an infinitesimal instant of time since the Universe evolved into existence, man has discovered much more about himself and the Universe than in all of previous history combined. The next 100 years will certainly be even greater.
Technology has now given us the capability to seek and find other life in the Universe, by detecting their TV transmissions and other communications, beacons, and activities. However, nations must make the committment to apply financial resources to apply present-day technology to this historic goal for life on Earth -- to find out about other, still higher life elsewhere in the Universe.
It won't cost much, but it is currently paid for largely by tax dollars thanks to politicians. It's a nonprofit endeavor.
A giant radio telescope located in space would be much better than what we are using today.
Imagine the impacts socially, individually, culturally, and politically of finding out that greater life exists out there. Perhaps we would be embarrassed about much of our own conduct on Earth, and alot of egos would be scaled down. World peace and cooperation might be increased as people strove for greater heights in view of their deeper awareness of their true role in the Universe and on Earth.
We can achieve this in our lifetimes. What we could use is a telescope the size of a city to capture distant and weak transmissions. We could also use a large telescope to optically focus on a smaller part of the Universe in order to get a better "signal-to-noise ratio" reception. (An analogy is a bigger satellite TV dish in your back yard in order to collect a faint transmission but more importantly to point at (focus upon) a selected part of the sky.)
A telescope the size of a city must be made in space. It would be far too massive in Earth's gravity, and on Earth's surface it couldn't be pointed where we wanted -- we would be limited to straight up and sweeping as Earth rotated. (We might prefer to point at black holes -- possible galactic space transportation ports due to the slingshot effect of "gravity assists".)
It has been seriously proposed to put a radio telescope on the far side of the Moon to block out noise from Earth. We could do better, on the far side of an asteroid or behind a big shield in orbit made from asteroidal nickel-iron metal. That would be much easier and cheaper than building one on the surface of the Moon.
This telescope may also be located far away in the solar system, where the Sun's gravity forms a gravitational lens to focus light by bending it. Einstein pointed out that gravity fields bent light rays. Now we can put this knowledge to use by going to where these bent rays are focused by the Sun's gravity. In this region, distant signals are tremendously amplified. A gravity focus can not be as sharp as a lens or mirror focus, so we will still need a large telescope.
Launching this massive telescope up from Earth and then sending it the rest of the way to deep space would cost too much. We must make most of the telescope from nonterrestrial materials. Asteroidal material is most economical. We need to launch only some mass production equipment, because the vast majority of the mass of the telescope is mass-produced, simple metal collection dish and structural components. The fuel for transport is also abundant in asteroidal material.
The last 50 years of man has seen amazing progress, and the next 35 years can see an evolutionary space program of revolutionary achievements for a better future for ourselves, our children, and the causes of the Free World.
PERMANENT.com > Products and Services > SETI
PERMANENT needs a PHP / MySQL (actually, MariaDB) programmer. Are you a PHP / MySQL programmer interested in getting into space development as a career, or already working in space development? Or do you know somebody else who might be interested?
There is an ongoing process to update this website in 2019 with a target relaunch in 2020.
This website is actually very out of date. Much of the website text content was written in the 1980s to early 2000s, but that's a different matter. As regards PHP / MySQL, some offline databases go into the 2010s, as regards professional publications, engineers, companies, etc., and this is what we need programming help with. We are updating our databases on people, organizations, publications, and other things, for open source space development for all.
The current status is we have some working databases which we have been using internally for a long time for organizing professional publications, and to track people (authors, R&D people, other professionals, quality volunteers, journalists, etc.) and organizations. We want to put information online for the general public pending a security review of the programming code.
Step 1 is fixing some bugs in what we already have, the PHP code. It is functional, and been used a long time, but there are some bugs.
Step 2 will be improving the system. Some small improvements would help its usability.
Step 3 will be a security check for putting it online for the general public to be able to access and use, but with reasonable protection against hackers.
After Step 3, the main mission is accomplished, as regards PHP / MySQL, though of course we hope to keep people engaged and happy, and the sky's not the limit.
This is a volunteer, unpaid role at this point in time. A limited paid role would be considered on a tight budget, such as for at least bug fixing with some minor improvements, and/or a security review of our code before it goes online publicly. If you or one of your friends or associates may be interested, please send an email to spaceprogrammer at ... of course this domain.
Reasons to do something yourself:
- It will help save life on our special planet -- be part of the solution in your generation.
- It will create and secure a better future for your children and grandchildren.
- It could be an interesting, cool, and a fun adventure for your life!
You can join us and volunteer to help out,
... or ...
If you're short on time, you can just donate:
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