NASA and Google both #NailedIt this week with the discovery of seven "Earth-size" planets in the TRAPPIST-1 system located some 39 light years from our Sol system and Google's subsequent celebratory "Doodle."
As Lanterns reported
yesterday, NASA explained the following in a press release:
NASA’s Spritzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single start. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water.
The implications of this discovery are staggering, as these planets are located within the "habitable zone" of TRAPPIST-1 they could be home to indigenous life. This is made likelier by the low temperature (comparatively) of the star NASA said:
“In contrast to our sun, the TRAPPIST-1 star – classified as an ultra-cool dwarf – is so cool that liquid water could survive on planets orbiting very close to it, closer than is possible on planets in our solar system.”
Water is the key ingredient in the ultimate recipe for life as we know it. The scientific wonder aside, this discovery throws into sharp relief the smallness of humanity and the Earth in the galaxy as well as the critical urgency of man's emergence as an interplanetary species.
With present technology, 39 light years is too great a distance to master, but the moon, Mars and the Jovian moons are within our reach if we simply outstretch our hand. It's time for capitalists like Elon Musk to pick up where NASA dropped the ball under the Obama administration. It's up to the Trump administration now to embrace and nurture the commercialization of manned space flight. We needn't the Government to take us to the stars, we need the Government to release our power to reach them ourselves.
The frontier calls for those of entrepreneurial spirit. Explorers, builders and doers, we stand at the threshold. If we can restore the values of our founders who pioneered America four centuries ago we can lead mankind's exodus into the stars through the same principles. It's time to become a nation of Colonists again.