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Space The Military Science

US Air Force Pays SETI To Check Kepler-22b For Alien Life 301

New submitter iComp writes with this quote from El Reg: "The Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) has announced that it is back in business checking out the new [potentially] habitable exoplanets recently discovered by NASA's Kepler space telescope to see if they might be home to alien civilizations. The cash needed to restart SETI's efforts has come in part from the U.S. Air Force Space Command, who are interested in using the organization's detection instruments for 'space situational awareness'."
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US Air Force Pays SETI To Check Kepler-22b For Alien Life

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @03:32AM (#38288668)

    the USAF wants to track sub orbital cruise missiles like DARPA is developing using the SETI ATA to look at close earth objects with high accuracy during the day when their optical tracking systems are offline. SETI wants to find alien civilizations at night. should work nicely.

  • by TheDarkener ( 198348 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @03:35AM (#38288684) Homepage

    If there is intelligent enough life on Kepler-22b to see that our U.S. military, who can't seem to figure peace out on our OWN planet, is the first to probe theirs...they could see it as a potentially hostile first impression. Just sayin'.

  • by captainpanic ( 1173915 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @04:07AM (#38288788)

    Explore, conquer, colonize. We are humans. Resistance is futile.

    There's intelligent life on our planet, and we are happily killing it into extinction for our own expansion. Looking at the way we behave at our own planet, I think it is extremely likely that we would inhabit every planet we can reach if it is inhabitable. And then take over sooner or later, with or without a struggle.

    It's in the line of expectations that the military get involved early on. Humans have never explored anything unarmed.

  • by inasity_rules ( 1110095 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @07:09AM (#38289362) Journal

    This is an interesting read. [wikipedia.org]

    I find it sad that writers fear to explore religion in speculative fiction. The reaction (specifically of the majority of Christians -i.e. catholics) may not be what you think it is.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @07:27AM (#38289396) Homepage

    The Fermi paradox isn't just a cute bit of philosophy. Our galaxy should be teeming with life. We live on prime real estate, the Thrints should have colonised it back in the Cambrian.

    So either we're unique (inconceivable), ~8.8 billion years isn't long enough for any other species anywhere in the Milky Way to have kicked off colonisation (improbable), or something is silencing them (merely unlikely and scary).

    Maybe we should take a look at that third possibility, and take a good hard look around rather than shouting "Here we are! Hey, over here, life!" into the void. Paranoid? Yes, but we're gambling the species on it, and the costs are essentially pocket lint.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 07, 2011 @07:38AM (#38289428)

    Pacifism is great and all that, but it only works if the other guy does NOT want to kill you.
    Now if you're dealing with a psychopath, hungry carnivore, mugger, hostile alien warriors, etc, pacifism will only get you the short end of the stick, often followed by a funeral - if they can find enough of you to bury.

    The best and safest way to deal with a psychopath is therapy or medical treatment.
    Many hungry carnivores will not consider you a prey unless you act like one.
    Muggers usually don't want to kill you unless you resist.
    Hostile alien warriors are fictional and are best dealt with without using violence unless Don Quixote is your role model.

    In all examples you gave, violence leads to a scenario where you are the most likely to end up dead.
    On those occations where violence would work you are already in a position where don't have anything to fear to begin with.

In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982