Thursday, August 26, 2010

"Space Probe" episode on "The Universe" on History Channel shows a lot of Titan

Tonight (Aug 26) the History Channel “The Universe” series aired “Space Probe”, summarizing the results of unmanned spaceships visiting Venus, Mars, and particularly Titan (Huygens) in our own solar system, and describing how microwave technology could speed up probes to the point that a journey to Mars might take only about 8 hours, the time it takes to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

The last part of the program showed how a shielded probe can explore the coronal mass ejections of the Sun, a possible threat to Earth.

The show described the collection of materials from comets and space dust, finding possibly amino acids, actually some dust from nearby stars. It’s possible that life is seeded to planets from comet dust in some systems.

The program said that right now it would take about 100000 years to reach the nearest star with today’s technology, but that should improve soon.

Here is NASA's link for Kepler and the search for habitable planets. And here is an MSN story by Alan Boyle about a Kepler space probe finding.

BBC YouTube video on Titan.

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