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Infinite Visions, One Planetary Society

 



Jim Bell


This week's question from Planetary Society President Jim Bell:

What do you imagine may await us as we venture beyond our Solar System and begin to explore exoplanets orbiting other stars?

Submit Your Vision

An Alien Ocean Shore

by Jim Bell

As a planetary scientist, just thinking about it gives me a thrill.

By the time our first spacecraft—probably robotic—head for the nearest stars, we’ll already have an enormous amount of information from ground-based and space based-telescopes about their panoply of planets.

Whether those stars harbor Hot Jupiters, Super Earths, or icy outer ocean worlds like those in our own solar system, we are certain to be dazzled by the diversity we encounter.

Wouldn't it be incredible if the first pictures beamed back of a distant Earthlike planet showed city lights stretching along an alien ocean shore? Unlikely, perhaps—but why not dream?


Here's how Planetary Society Members answered...

Click through to read the full submission and comment.

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What do you want to see next in space exploration?


Items 55 - 66 of 66  Previous1234

Resources beyond imagination

by Chris Evans

December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

As we venture beyond the earth and the solar system we can expect to find more resources to power our economies here on earth. We have to decide who can profit from the mining operations of these resources, governments or private companies? Allowing the exploitation of space resources will help grow our civilizations economies and we wont have to exhaust the earths resources. We will discover alien life thats for ... more »

Forget Mars, lets colonize the Moon first

by John Robinson

December 5, 2013 | 1 comments

Recent publicity indicates that there is interest in colonizing Mars in the not-so-distant future. In my opinion we should focus on colonizing the Moon first. The lessons learned from logistics, technology, and the human psychology of living off Earth could then be applied to an expedition to Mars. In addition, the moon could be used as a staging area and for collection of water (ice from polar craters and hydrolysis ... more »

On the Way to a Planet

by Bob Ehrmann

December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

I believe we live aboard a rotating space station before landing on a planet. This will give us plenty of time to make detailed space studies and plans to ensure a successful landing. Ad Astra featured an article about a city on a space station called "Kalpana 2. I am sure this is the way to go.

... more »

possibility of fundamentally different life beyond our solar system

by Doug Currie

December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

Of course I can't say for sure but although DNA has worked well on earth and all known earth life is based on it I think there are other possibilities for life beyond earth. This could involved other amino acids than the ones in DNA, or other chemicals such as silicon, arsenic, sulfur or perhaps fluorine or chlorine or sodium for example instead of some of the atoms in DNA ... more »

Imagine first it will take Peace to get us there.

by Robert Forenza

December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

One of our stories from 30 years of suppyling this world Hugg-A-Planets.

On 9-11-09 was JAXA's First resupply mission called "Kibo" (HOPE) to the ISS. On board were our Peacetoys the Hugg-A-Planet Earth, Moon and Mars. The Mars was first produced as request of Dr. Carl Sagan he had a Hugg-A-Planet ask me what about a mars. Done! That was late 80s. That Hugg-A-Planet Mars is still in production, updated and ... more »

New Earth

by Ken Elchert

December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

My vision for the first interstellar mission requires highly advanced technology in the areas of propulsion, autonomous intelligent computer operations, navigation, and communications. The mission would be to the nearest star with an exoplanet in the habitable zone known to have water and an oxygen atmosphere based on Earth-based observations. Since this would be a very long-term and expensive mission, it would not be a simple fly-by but an orbital ... more »

What I think may be life out there

by David Thomas

December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

Because we haven't observed intelligent alterations to stellar and galaxy level systems, I'm guessing that intelligent life is rare and may not be sustainable, but is still possible.

I think we will observe during this century a planet similar to earth that may indicate some level of life, giving us hope for what is out there. Whatever we do find out there will never be imagined and will surprise us.

... more »

Interstellar Travel

by Richard McConnell

December 5, 2013 | 1 comments

Interstellar travel will depend on the development of new physics. Rocket-based technology will never do it. Voyager 1 will take 25000 years to pass out of the oort cloud, let alone arrive at another system! There is a finite possibility of subatomic particles being anywhere in the universe, but this will have to be translated to a macroscopic scale, in a fully controllable way. This is still probably centuries away! ... more »

Lifeforms of infinite variety

by David Kaye

December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

I believe we will find lifeforms of infinite variety. Levels of cognitive thought will vary widely as well. Even if we find exactly the same atmospheric makeup, we know that Earth supports a near-infinite variety of life forms. I do believe we will find ways of communicating with some of the life forms. I also believe we will find some more advanced than ourselves. We will learn from them...and they ... more »

An Alien Ocean Shore

by Jim Bell

December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

As a planetary scientist, just thinking about it gives me a thrill.

By the time our first spacecraft—probably robotic—head for the nearest stars, we’ll already have an enormous amount of information from ground-based and space based-telescopes about their panoply of planets.

Whether those stars harbor Hot Jupiters, Super Earths, or icy outer ocean worlds like those in our own solar system, we are certain to be dazzled by the diversity we encounter.

Wouldn't ... more »

No life

by Michael Skok

December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

We haven't heard a peep out of any of them with our radio telescopes. The Bible may be true that earth is where life and mankind dwell and nowhere else. I would like see human colonies on planets around other stars, especially Tau Citi, which is only 12 light years away. I would like to see the development of faster-than-light starships, if that's possible.

... more »

Planetary Imaginings

by Gail Held

December 5, 2013 | 0 comments

Once our probes reach Proxima Centauri or one of the other Centauri stars, we will beam our sensors toward their planets. There we will find planets with hard scapes like Earth, as well as gaseous planets. Some may have oceans of water, but we may only find planets with primitive plant life. Algae will thrive so it will be a start of something wonderful.The algae will start the process of ... more »

Items 55 - 66 of 66  Previous1234