January 25, 2022

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Scientists want to send terrestrial life forms to other stars

Many of us dream of traveling to the stars. And while the technology that will transport humans out of our solar system has not yet been developed, engineers are already working on shipping tiny sensors there. The researchers now suggest that it might be very rewarding to include a few rather privileged passengers…

Just a few decades ago, sending humans into space would have seemed impractical. Then there was Yuri Gagarin And Neil Armstrong put the feet on the moon. Just a few years ago, this dream was still beyond the reach of ordinary people. And there was Virgo Galaxy and SpaceX. Today, some are beginning to think about how life could soon leave its cradle. the solar system. “I think it’s our destiny to keep exploring.”, is emphasized in a communication From the University of California, Santa Barbara (USA), Joel Rothman, co-author of a publication on this topic in Astronautical law review.

Will life soon fly to the stars? ” Why not “, say the researchers today. But they will likely be, at first, very small creatures on a spacecraft, which are also very small. Because we can’t hide it. It will take a long time to reach the stars in chemical-powered ships. Voyager missions have already taken 40 years to reach The limits of our solar system. It would take them less than 80,000 years to reach the nearest stars.

University of California researchers are working to develop miniature sensors starshipsAs engineers already call them – no more than a gram, still equipped with the necessary devices to detect, collect and transmit data to Earth. But above all, you’re driving about 30% of the speed of light with a laser beam. This craft can reach relative speeds and reach up to Poxima Centauri… in only twenty years! And they may be able to take some live, radioactive small animals there. From tardigrades

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Technical … and ethical questions

Researchers estimate that thousands of these creatures could remain dormant on astral chariots and wake up once a target is reached. With the possibility for scientists to learn more about the effects of interstellar travel about life. “We can study and examine the extent to which tardigrades remember the behavior they learned on Earth after moving away from their home planet at near the speed of light. Metabolismand their physiology, neurological functions, reproduction, and aging. Because most of the experiments that can be done on these animals in the lab can be done on StarChips as they travel through the universe.”Joel Rothman reassured.

The goal, of course, remains to understand the potential effects of interstellar travel on humans. Although this dream should not come true immediately. And that by then “Maybe we have created forms that are more suitable for life or Hybrids More resistance to man and machine. “

Researchers do not lose sight of the ethical questions associated with this work of a rather special kind. Some already consider that life may have been brought to Earth comets. or even, voluntarily, by a extraterrestrial civilization. So the thought of sending life forms to other stars – if only tardigrades – naturally raises questions. And even more general questions for some. Do we only have “right” to send it into space, Microorganisms Who did not ask for anything? Or send humans later to destinations from which they may never return? Perhaps the ethical questions are as interesting as the scientific questions that accompany them…