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The Future of Human Life: Mars, Exoplanets, and the 100-Year Starship Project

Presenter: Dirk Schulze-Makuch, University of Texas at El Paso
When: March 27, 2012 11AM PDT

One of the major goals of NASA’s Astrobiology Roadmap is to gain insights on the Future of Life. We realize that we are living on a vulnerable planet in a dangerous universe. One solution to make us less vulnerable from catastrophes is to enhance space exploration and ultimately colonize other worlds. The obvious choice is Mars due to its close proximity and available resources. An alternative option is explored by the recent DARPA/NASA initiative for a 100-year Starship Project: to develop the capability to travel to planets outside of our solar system within 100 years. A priority-scheme is introduced of how to determine which of the more than 700 confirmed exoplanets so far may be habitable. The scheme supports the 100-year Starship Project and helps focusing future investigations on which of the exoplanets we might find life.

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