NASA Seeks Public’s Designs to Throw Shade in Space

From NASA

Searching the universe for Earth-like planets is like looking for a needle in a haystack. To further this exploration, NASA is supporting the early-stage study of a concept for a hybrid observatory that would combine a ground-based telescope with a space-based starshade. These devices block glare from stars when observing planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, from the ground. The Hybrid Observatory for Earth-like Exoplanets (HOEE) would convert the largest ground telescopes into the most powerful planet finders ever made – and the public has an opportunity to be part of this groundbreaking endeavor.

The Ultralight Starshade Structural Design Challenge asks participants to develop a lightweight starshade structure that could be used as part of the HOEE concept. The ideal design would allow for compact packaging and successful deployment once in its Earth orbit. It must also have the lowest possible mass so that chemical thrusters can keep it aligned during observations and propulsion systems can change its orbit to observe different targets – all while using as little fuel as possible.

One way to pinpoint an exoplanet in the vast darkness of space and determine its potential habitability, is to observe the light it reflects as it orbits its star. This light is influenced by surface minerals, oceans, continents, weather, vegetation, and the gases that make up its atmosphere. But the star often produces a glare when observing the planets from ground-based telescopes, disrupting observations. Starshades cast a dark shadow over the star without blocking the light of its planets, providing observers a better view.

“The hybrid observatory might help us answer some of the most pressing questions about extraterrestrial life,” said Dr. John Mather, senior astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope. “Observing many systems would help answer the question of why configurations like our own are rare and why none is quite like home. It is truly exciting that the public can be part of this revolutionary effort. I can’t wait to see what ideas they bring to the table.”

The top five submissions will share a prize purse of $7,000. The contest deadline is Aug. 22. The challenge is administered by GrabCAD. For more information about the challenge, visit: https://grabcad.com/challenges/nasa-challenge-ultralight-starshade-struc…

This contest supports the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) study of the HOEE concept. The NASA Tournament Lab, part of the Prizes, Challenges, and Crowdsourcing program, manages the challenge. The program supports public competitions and crowdsourcing as tools to advance NASA research and development and other mission needs. NIAC and the Prizes, Challenges, and Crowdsourcing program are part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate.

Learn more about opportunities to participate in your space program via NASA prizes and challenges at:

http://www.nasa.gov/solve

Last Updated: Jul 18, 2022

Editor: Sarah Schlieder

2.8 4 votes
Article Rating
78 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
fretslider
July 19, 2022 2:15 am

Ok you find a suitable planet say 4 light years away – and that isn’t that far

It will only take around 40,000 years to get there….

Rocketscientist
Reply to  fretslider
July 19, 2022 4:14 am

We can still observe and potentially communicate. You don’t always have to go there.

fretslider
Reply to  Rocketscientist
July 19, 2022 4:36 am

We can still observe and potentially communicate”

Hoping they’ll pass on great knowledge every four years or so?

It’s a nice daydream.

Pillage Idiot
Reply to  fretslider
July 19, 2022 7:27 am

I see that our colleges in the U.S. are currently unable to pass any great knowledge every four years too!

KcTaz
Reply to  Pillage Idiot
July 19, 2022 6:26 pm

It’s even worse than that.

“Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity.”
Thomas Sowell

“In a democracy, we have always had to worry about the ignorance of the uneducated. Today we have to worry about the ignorance of people with college degrees.”
Thomas Sowell

“One of the painful signs of years of dumbed-down education is how many people are unable to make a coherent argument. They can vent their emotions, question other people’s motives, make bold assertions, repeat slogans—anything except reason.”
Thomas Sowell

This may be the worst of all the things that colleges do. It is a death blow to science.

“It is bad enough that so many people believe things without any evidence. What is worse is that some people have no conception of evidence and regard facts as just someone else’s opinion.”
Thomas Sowell

Lee Sherman
Reply to  KcTaz
July 19, 2022 6:48 pm

I disagree. It is real stupidity they are promoting.

Bryan A
Reply to  fretslider
July 19, 2022 7:56 am

Unless, of course, they are bent on galactic domination and come looking to eliminate lesser developed species.
Unless, of course, they have developed superluminal communications and are willing to share.
Unless, of course, they aren’t the Kanamits looking for a new food supply.

Last edited 21 days ago by Bryan A
Mario Lento
Reply to  fretslider
July 19, 2022 9:01 am

4 years each way, 8 year for the loop to close.

DonM
Reply to  Mario Lento
July 19, 2022 10:23 am

The earth is gonna end in 8-1/2 years, so we better get started now.

Mario Lento
Reply to  DonM
July 19, 2022 11:44 am

Yes,
at Time = to 0yr: the message, “HELP COME GET US”
at Time = to 4yr: Message received, “we are coming”
at Time = to 8yr: Message is returned, “OK, meet me at…”

Oh, forget it…

Dan
Reply to  Mario Lento
July 19, 2022 4:29 pm

Warp 9 number one!

mario lento
Reply to  Dan
July 19, 2022 5:14 pm

Problem is you’d get there well ahead of the message… and of course, you would be a witch for telling the future.

michel
Reply to  fretslider
July 19, 2022 4:18 am

Yes, the consultation obviously doesn’t go far enough.

Could people also please submit their designs for a faster than light drive? So we can travel to these planets when we have found them.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  michel
July 19, 2022 4:59 am

As long as you don’t care about time on earth any more you may get there very fast. See
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proper_velocity

fretslider
Reply to  Rainer Bensch
July 19, 2022 5:35 am

Earth appears to be a lost cause. John Kerry has flown to Berlin to ensure it happens.

KcTaz
Reply to  fretslider
July 19, 2022 3:24 pm

But, of course he flew and in his private jet, too. His CO2 emissions don’t stink or add to CO2 on Earth, doncha know?

JOHN KERRY CLIMATE CZAR?*.png
fretslider
Reply to  michel
July 19, 2022 5:34 am

Why not focus on something a little more practical?

The only faster than the speed of reality drive you have is your imagination – hopefully, not the lack of it.

Last edited 21 days ago by fretslider
KcTaz
Reply to  fretslider
July 19, 2022 3:28 pm

C’mon, fred, they did it on Star Trek decades ago!

A few are even using what they learned from Star Trek to replicate it.

Two Scientists Are Building a Real Star Trek ‘Impulse Engine’ https://youtu.be/0bp8fk5rosI via @YouTube

MarkW
Reply to  fretslider
July 19, 2022 7:37 am

All the more reason to figure out if there are any habitable planets before leaving.

Peta of Newark
July 19, 2022 2:21 am

ha ha 😀

Not Another Squirrel Again.JPG
beng135
Reply to  Peta of Newark
July 19, 2022 10:02 am

Look at the squirrel!

Lee Sherman
Reply to  beng135
July 19, 2022 6:52 pm

I think he has a question…

Derg
July 19, 2022 2:55 am

I wonder if there is some sort of military use for such a device? Use the device to block the sun on Putin’s Russia…get them to fall in line with our values or give up their fossil fuels long enough so we can install more solar panels and windmills.

I believe the Simpson’s tv show had an episode where Mr Burns had a similar device.

Frank from NoVA
Reply to  Derg
July 19, 2022 6:12 am

‘I wonder if there is some sort of military use for such a device?’

Their (our leaders) motive is even more nefarious. Proving there is nothing unique about ‘us’ will erode belief in a deity that cares for humanity, thereby eroding morality and allowing them to view and treat their fellow man as animals.

Don Perry
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
July 19, 2022 9:17 am

” treat their fellow man as animals”
Which, unfortunately, many of them have become.

KcTaz
Reply to  Frank from NoVA
July 19, 2022 4:40 pm

Frank, it would not prove any such thing about God but there are those, even at the Pentagon, who do apparently.

nypost.com

UFOs are real, feds’ cover-up fueled by fear: ex-Pentagon whistleblower
https://bit.ly/3eIngiy
April 30, 2021

EXCERPT:
…Aerospace Corporation
For senior Pentagon officials, Elizondo discovered, acknowledging the very existence of UFOs was “too much of a pill to swallow.” He recalled one superior who clumsily changed the subject by asking Elizondo how the Miami Dolphins football team was doing. “Some individuals have a problem with this topic because it interferes with their philosophical or maybe theological belief system.”
In fact, Elizondo claimed one senior official “told him to ‘Stop’” investigating UFOs — and asked Elizondo if he had “read your Bible lately?”
Elizondo asked where his boss was going with the non sequitur before acknowledging familiarity with the Good Book. As per Elizondo, he was then told, “‘Well, then you would know that these things are demonic and we should not be pursuing them.’ He wasn’t kidding. That’s exactly how he felt.”
Dr. Eric Davis, Ph.D., a former rocket scientist for the Air Force Research Laboratory and currently a scientist at government contractor the Aerospace Corporation, confirmed: “They objected to UFOs as being Satanic!”
The line of thinking is not restricted to America. Nick Pope saw similar incidents of religion trumping science in the UK. “Some objections come from people in government who think the phenomenon is real — but demonic,” Pope said. “Their belief seems to be that studying UFOs would thus give energy to attention-seeking demons, which should be avoided. This view comes, in part, from the biblical description of Satan as ‘the prince of the power of the air.’”
But then, even secular government officials who accept the reality of UFOs get cornered by exactly what kind of action should be taken and who should take it. “They can’t deal with it on a legislative basis or on a military operational basis; they can’t deal with it on the basis of a presidential policy,” said Davis. “So they let a finite group of engineers and scientists and investigators work [on it] together.” And their findings “just collect cobwebs in the classified storage warehouses.”
Luis “Lue” Elizondo today.
To the Stars Academy
Some of this may have also stemmed from a fear of panicking the public. As Elizondo told Politico, many of the UFO sightings were near vulnerable nuclear facilities, ships in the water and power plants. He added, “We had never seen anything like it.”

MarkW
Reply to  Derg
July 19, 2022 7:39 am

I suspect this things only going to be a few meters across.

beng135
Reply to  MarkW
July 19, 2022 10:05 am

I’ve read alittle about proposals for this, IIRC it would be a couple dozens of meters across.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
July 19, 2022 10:37 am

One of the links says the shield should be 100 meters in diameter.

Bryan A
Reply to  Derg
July 19, 2022 8:08 am

And then Russia could return the favor and deploy one of their own to block the sun from powering our solar panels and we run out of electricity because we stupidly/foolishly made our society dependent on ruinables

Don Perry
Reply to  Bryan A
July 19, 2022 9:18 am

Also stops photosynthesis.

KcTaz
Reply to  Derg
July 19, 2022 6:35 pm

“Use the device to block the sun on Putin’s Russia…get them to fall in line with our values…”

With what we see coming out of DC, many of our State Houses, the media and our schools, I don’t think we really want Putin’s Russia to fall in line with our values.
No, I’m not a Putin fan but, at least, the Russian people will have food and fuel. I’m not so sure we will much longer.

One has only to listen to the Powers That Be to know we are in deep doo doo. They are not shy about stating their real goals. In fact, they brag about them.

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the
industrialized civilizations collapse?
Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
– Maurice Strong, founder of UNEP

“Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the
equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
– Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University / Royal Society fellow

Ben Vorlich
July 19, 2022 3:02 am

Something like this has a lot of appeal on a hot day in a city

comment image?ssl=1

Bryan A
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
July 19, 2022 8:33 am

Something like this also has a lot of appeal on hot days
comment image

beng135
Reply to  Bryan A
July 19, 2022 10:07 am

Looks like a good location for an official NWS temp station.

KcTaz
Reply to  beng135
July 19, 2022 6:13 pm

If we go by NOAA’s other thermometer placements, this one would be exactly the kind they’re think are perfect.

Ron Long
July 19, 2022 3:21 am

This sounds like another “Boaty McBoatface” opportunity. I’m in.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Ron Long
July 19, 2022 4:08 am

I’ve just patented ‘McSunScreen’.

Christopher Paino
Reply to  Ron Long
July 19, 2022 9:12 am

Given the choice, the general public will always vote for Boaty McBoatface.

2hotel9
July 19, 2022 3:26 am

How much of my tax dollars are they pissing away on this stupidity?

beng135
Reply to  2hotel9
July 19, 2022 10:09 am

Half-pennies compared to all the other stupidity pissed away.

Oldseadog
July 19, 2022 3:34 am

They want a lightweight structure.
Send all the UN politicians into space to link arms and this will make a shadow.
All of them are lightweights.

Last edited 21 days ago by Oldseadog
fretslider
Reply to  Oldseadog
July 19, 2022 3:37 am

“lightweight”

But they do exert an enormous drag on the rest of us

Rocketscientist
July 19, 2022 4:12 am

Such a structure can easily be built by inflating closed tunnels in a thin aluminized Mylar skin, much the same as blood vessels in the skin. There are UV curable resins to stabilize the semi rigid structure. Stow it away the same as any large tarp.
However, just because you can doesn’t mean that you should.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rocketscientist
July 19, 2022 10:42 am

You beat me to it.

My idea would be to launch an uninflated balloon of sufficient diameter (100 meters, in this case) into orbit where it could be inflated using just a small amount of helium gas.

Maybe we can share the $7,000 prize. 🙂

Smart Rock
July 19, 2022 4:43 am

(HOEE) would convert the largest ground telescopes into the most powerful planet finders ever made

I don’t get it. There’s this thing called the atmosphere. It gets in the way. That’s why they made the Hubble and James Webb telescopes.

I suspect that the writer who composed this opus is not well versed in science.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Smart Rock
July 19, 2022 10:44 am

We have some very powerful ground-based telescopes. If a star’s brightness can be blocked using a space-based shield, then the Earth-based telescopes can do some good work.

We can thank Dr. Happer, an expert on the Earth’s atmosphere, for making ground-based telescopes so formidable and useful.

Last edited 21 days ago by Tom Abbott
KcTaz
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 19, 2022 6:18 pm

There are many things we can thank him for. I’m sure, since he was doing Top Secret work for quite awhile, there are still things he made that we don’t even know about. It pains me to see the trolls on Twitter try to dismiss and insult him, though, considering the source and that they are ignorant, it really shouldn’t bother me.
I doubt that it bothers hims if he ever went on Twitter, which he doesn’t.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  KcTaz
July 20, 2022 4:15 am

“considering the source and that they are ignorant, it really shouldn’t bother me.”

That’s the attitude to have. 🙂

Alexy Scherbakoff
July 19, 2022 5:26 am

Put your finger over the image of the star in the telescope.

Prjindigo
July 19, 2022 5:41 am

Not a viable application until we develop sci-fi like reactionless drives to move it around in spite of orbital mechanics and the shadow it creates would disturb the atmospheric optics.

Still best to put the telescope in space and use the shade on the ground over the scientists so they can work longer.

Also, the strange feathering along the edge would instantly negate any observable details from literally any source you aimed a telescope at. In astrophotography we use a device called a “bahtinov mask” which creates 3 sets of diffraction lines so that all you have to do to achieve focus is line the I up in the middle of the X in the image and you’re done. It obliterates any starfield details while doing this.

Since the above drawing has diffractive surfaces and is NOT in an occlusion tube, it is going to be reflecting diffractive light from ALL other sources in the direction of the “science” towards the ground telescope AND since the planet turns you’re gonna maybe have a few milliseconds to try to take an image… which will be blurry anyway.

Last edited 21 days ago by Prjindigo
Bryan A
Reply to  Prjindigo
July 19, 2022 8:27 am

Or simply use an occulting disk on the telescope

william Johnston
July 19, 2022 6:00 am

Some folks just have way too much time on their hands.

tgasloli
July 19, 2022 6:40 am

“…answer some of the most pressing questions about extraterrestrial life…”

Seems there are many more “pressing” issues here on earth.

Bryan A
Reply to  tgasloli
July 19, 2022 8:28 am

Perhaps they meant Intelligent Life

Oldseadog
Reply to  Bryan A
July 19, 2022 10:13 am

They wouldn’t recognise intelligent life if they met it in the street.

In fact they don’t recognise intelligent life when they meet it in the street.

Bryan A
Reply to  Oldseadog
July 19, 2022 12:12 pm

That’s only because they’ve never witnessed it’s reflection before

July 19, 2022 7:49 am

Can we really observe an extrasolar planet directly?

Vuk
July 19, 2022 8:31 am

What is about the UK’s airports geography (/sarc), i.e.half a mile from Gatwick airport, at Heathrow airport and Coningsby RAF base airport, that all around midday, rather than early or mid afternoon today recorded the UK’s highest ever temperature?

Bruce Cobb
July 19, 2022 8:31 am

I call Dibs on giant polarized sunglasses.

Gordon A. Dressler
July 19, 2022 9:06 am

Wow! What an outstanding piece of evidence for the general lack of scientific knowledge and practical engineering that is now pervasive in press releases being issued by NASA agencies.

To work in tandem with a telescope on Earth’s surface, the proposed “starshades” (more properly called occulting discs) would have to be located in a geostationary orbit above Earth’s surface so as to enable long duration telescopic imaging to detect the faint light from exoplanets.

If not in geostationary orbit, the rate of angular speed of the occulting disk across the night sky would very likely exceed the slew rate of large ground based telescopes when in imaging mode. Furthermore, imaging at such slew rates would introduce a massive amount of “noise” around the occulting disk as background stars “crossed” the telescope’s view of view/imaging.

Furthermore, the comment about the design requirement for a starshade in the above article:
“It must also have the lowest possible mass so that chemical thrusters can keep it aligned during observations and propulsion systems can change its orbit to observe different targets – all while using as little fuel as possible.”
is both sophomoric and wrong on several levels:
— Being located in a geostationary orbit limits greatly limits the stars available for disk occulting to those within a very tight band (say ± 1° declination) above/below Earth’s projected equatorial plane. The whole sphere of stars surrounding Earth could not be occulted in the manner stated.
— Given the area needed to occult any given star at geostationary orbital altitude (about 22,300 miles directly above Earth’s equator), the “lowest possible mass” occulting disk will be very susceptible to orbital displacement from the forces of impinging solar wind and solar photons. (In this regard, a more massive starshield would be more stable and therefore better.) This logically implies there will be a need for continuous attitude control on each starshield, and since the above article specifically refers to use of “chemical thrusters” (not ion thrusters) used for “alignment” during observations, any given starshield employing such propulsion will most likely exhaust all usable chemical propellant is less than a year (IMHO).
— To remain in the geostationary orbital plane (within, say, ± 1° declination) the only allowable orbital change would be what is called “E-W stationkeeping” (in terms of orbital ephemeris, adjusting the angle, or right ascension, along the equatorial plane).

My bottom line takeaway: the above-cited NASA PR with associated Ultralight Starshade Structural Design Challenge (and $ prize money) is a great way for NASA to excite young people about space and astronomy—a very good thing—but has almost no chance of being practical long-term from scientific or engineering points of view.

Nevertheless, with extraordinary luck, NASA just might possibly be able to image an exoplanet that lies within the above defined telescope-starshield view restrictions. Is the possible payoff of such worth the certain high cost of implementing such a system?

Last edited 21 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
beng135
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
July 19, 2022 10:15 am

Wouldn’t it need to be in a near-stationary location like the Webb is? (with some minor maneuverability)

Last edited 21 days ago by beng135
Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  beng135
July 19, 2022 11:06 am

JWST is NOT stationary with respect to the Earth’s view of distant stars. It is in a halo orbit around the L2 Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth-Moon system.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
July 19, 2022 10:51 am

“To work in tandem with a telescope on Earth’s surface, the proposed “starshades” (more properly called occulting discs) would have to be located in a geostationary orbit above Earth’s surface so as to enable long duration telescopic imaging to detect the faint light from exoplanets.”

One of the links I read said the shield would be placed about 170,000 kilometers out.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 19, 2022 11:07 am

“Test all things, hold fast that which is true.”

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
July 19, 2022 12:07 pm

To all readers of my above post:

Sorry, folks, I totally blew my above arguments with my very own sophomoric mistake! To wit:

Although a geostationary starshade would remain at a fixed position in the sky with respect to ground based telescopes, it would NOT remain fixed with the line of sight from any ground telescope to any given star. The Earth rotates through 360 degrees about its spin axis every 24 hours, so the stars NEVER would appear to be in a fixed position relative to Earth’s surface.

I am well aware that ground based observing telescopes have “clock drives” that continuously slew the telescopes so as to counteract any star’s apparent motion across the sky so that they appear to be “stationary” in the telescope’s eyepiece/imaging system . . . I totally spaced out in overlooking this obvious fact in my above reasoning.

Mea culpa. Mea maxim culpa.

What this really means is that any given starshade could not possibly be in orbit around the Earth but instead must be “hanging” in free space. Even an starshade in orbit around the Sun becomes problematic in this regard.

To occult any given star, the sunshield must be maneuverable to be along the Earth-star line of sight as the Earth revolves in its orbit around the Sun. Given that we can’t feasibly locate a starshade outside of our solar system, a stupendous amount of propellant will be required to PREVENT any starshield from going into orbit around the mass of the Sun.

Last edited 21 days ago by Gordon A. Dressler
KcTaz
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
July 19, 2022 6:41 pm

Maybe Elon Musk can figure it out for NASA. 🙂

beng135
Reply to  Gordon A. Dressler
July 20, 2022 6:49 am

Yes, it took me alittle thought to how it would work.

A starshade would IMHO best be in some L point — not reasonable to try preventing it from orbiting the sun. The surface telescope(s) using it would have to take multiple exposures over many days/weeks of a target in a very limited field of view. Best to have a space telescope(s) in similar L point placements where orientation/separation between them/starshade would be fairly constant. The telescopes and starshade(s) would obviously have to be able to change orientations (and positions to a small extent). I understand the Webb rotates slowly in its L point orbit — not sure if there are any truly “dead” points in the L points.

Last edited 20 days ago by beng135
Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  beng135
July 20, 2022 8:16 am

Indeed, the above NASA PR on the proposed concept of using a starshade is misleading because its second paragraph has this specific statement:
“The ideal design would allow for compact packaging and successful deployment once in its Earth orbit.”

That is what first set me off on the wrong path toward my (now seen as) initial bonehead explanation that only a geostationary orbit would work for the starshade.

If used in conjunction with ground-based telescopes, as proposed, the starshade could not be in any possible orbit . . . one around the Earth, one around the Moon, one around a Lagrange point, one around the Sun . . . because such orbital motion would always result in relative motion of the starshade relative to the Earth-star/exoplanet line of sight.

Given the very small angular separation between a potential exoplanet and its home star, as seen from Earth—on the order an arcsecond at best, typically milli-arcseconds or less —any orbital motion by the starshade would result in useful occultation times being on the order of milliseconds or less, far too short a time to take one image, or even hundreds of successive occultation images, to accumulate sufficient light to reveal the presence or absence of a exoplanet.

Even putting a telescope into space to use with a separate, remote starshade is not feasible (IMHO) because the space telescope, just like the starshade, must not be experiencing from any orbital motion when conducting such imaging. And like the starshade, the space telescope would require continuous precisely-variable propulsive thrusting to counteract the gravitational attraction of the Sun (as well as that of Earth and the Moon) that would otherwise cause it to move in inertial space.

I won’t even go further to address the necessity of precisely adjusting the starshade’s position in inertial space, as would be required to offset the stellar parallex that results from Earth’s orbit around the Sun, so as to obtain long duration occultation of any given star in the celestial sphere.

Bottom line: I do not see any possible way that the concept proposed by NASA could be made practical.

Olen
July 19, 2022 9:56 am

OK to find the planet. Not OK to communicate without knowing who and what they are.

KcTaz
Reply to  Olen
July 19, 2022 6:44 pm

Given that all life as we know it is based on competition, as far as I can tell, it does seem silly to presume any alien life would be friendly. Even Star Trek knew that. If Rodenberry figured it out, it seems like that should have crossed the minds of the geniuses at NASA. I wonder if it has?

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  KcTaz
July 19, 2022 7:49 pm

“Given that all life as we know it is based on competition . . .”

That is not at all a given. There are many examples of two completely different organisms living in a non-competitve, mutually beneficial relationship know as “symbiosis”.

One well-known example of such a relationships is the Zooxanthellae that inhabit living corals.

Bob
July 19, 2022 4:31 pm

Is this really the best use for our money? I think we need to cut their budget and fire the top ten administrators/executives.

Dan
July 19, 2022 4:32 pm

When you look at a star system, you are not looking at present distance, you are looking at past time. The universe is not how we observe it.

KcTaz
July 19, 2022 6:22 pm

Alien Humor

One day we will receive a disc with the message “stay the f away” in fifty different alien languages.

Us: Sends out a digital signal Aliens: Who uses digital anymore?

NASA: I’m sending you messages pick up! Aliens: Stop harassing me!

Nature repeats itself, it never creates something only once,

Men can detect signal from light years away, and I cant even get wifi signal from upstairs. SMH.

We’re kinda look like that one kid trying to make friends but no one wanted.

Lee Sherman
July 19, 2022 7:24 pm

all of the population reducing periods of history took place during ice ages. Cooling the planet intent conforms closely with the WEF goal of 95% reduction in population. Does this still sound like a good idea? If you agree, you are part of the problem.

Simon
July 19, 2022 10:11 pm

And if the cooling that some scientists are predicting occurs, they will have to shoot down the parasol with missiles.

Loren C. Wilson
July 20, 2022 5:55 pm

Clearly the best design is to put both the telescope and the shade in orbit, where you wouldn’t have to use a lot of fuel making the shade chase the telescope.

%d bloggers like this: