Not green but interesting

How to Help Support the Search for Extraterrestrial Life

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

NASA recently announced the discovery of a bacteria that can survive on arsenic; this discovery will broaden our search for extraterrestrial life. If you’re fascinated by the extraterrestrial possibilities and are eager to help the search, there are several things you can do.

Steps

  1. Write a letter to your government supporting space program funding. Write to representatives asking to see more funding given to research and exploration. For example, NASA uses the Mars Rovers and the European Space Agency (ESA) has the Mars Express to conduct research on Mars, a planet where life may have once existed. If you would like to see these programs expanded, make your voice heard and reach out to a representative in government to make your wishes known.
  2. Become a scientist yourself. This step alone can be comprised of dozens of sub-steps, and is a long shot for many people, but if you are a student, both NASA and the ESA offer internships and coops to students and recent graduates.
  3. Support distributed computing projects such as SETI@home, a program which downloads and analyzes radio telescope data.
  4. Support science and space education. Fostering the next generation of scientists and explorers–who may very well be the ones to discover extraterrestrial life–starts with education. Volunteer at science camps, planetariums or non-profit institutes that have programs to introduce children and young adults to science and the cosmos. Encourage children to stargaze (finding constellations, watching meteor showers, etc.).
  5. Spend some time understanding the theories surrounding extraterrestrial life. Astrobiology (also known as exobiology) is the study of the origins, evolution and future of life in the universe and the focus of programs such as the Mars rovers. Astrobiology combines many scientific fields of study to help understand how life can be supported somewhere other than Earth. The NASA Astrobiology Institute has a website (http://astrobiology.nasa.gov) that provides podcasts, recaps, and recordings of seminars concerning various issues within astrobiology.
  6. Stay up-to-date on research and findings. NASA and ESA provide reports, photos and press releases of new developments, including any relevant findings in the search for extraterrestrial life. Additionally, various science magazines and journals are useful in educating yourself about the current state of research and what may be coming in the near future.

Sources and Citations

  • NASA (www.nasa.gov)
  • ESA (www.esa.int)
  • UK Space Agency (www.ukspaceagency.bis.gov.uk)

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Help Support the Search for Extraterrestrial Life. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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About Seth
I Live in a 1977 Dodge Jamboree 2 with my wife and dog. I build and maintain web sites for a couple of internet companies.

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