Keeping in mind that these news clips focus on both aliens and space, not just aliens, I’m going to ignore that whole big thing with the CIA agent saying Roswell is real – as Time succinctly says (and I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Time), ‘A 35-year agency veteran says he knows what went down in the New Mexico desert 65 years ago — and coincidentally has a new book to promote
Life That is Difficult to Imagine Might Be Difficult to Find: That sentence is a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s something to keep in mind as we anticipate Curiosity’s arrival on Mars and continue looking into potential life on moons throughout the solar system. Scientists keep looking for alternatives to carbon- and phosphorus-based life, but it’s hard to imagine something so completely different from the only sorts of life we know. It doesn’t help that we can’t test directly, but rely on the fairly basic capabilities of rovers that will always be behind what we’re thinking about on Earth.
Earth Got Lucky, and We Were an Accident: New research shows that the water and (potentially) organic material that got life started on Earth were from carbonaceous chondrites that formed in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. This isn’t an entirely new idea – the former idea was that hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon came to earth from comets and carbonaceous chondrites – but it refocuses on the question of our most technical and original origins. Maybe the more we know about this, the more we can identify similar conditions in other spots likely to have life.
New Designs for Spacecraft Landing Gear: As space flight gets more involved and diversified, we’re going to be looking for bigger, better, and more effective designs – and hopefully more safety, too. It’s important to pay attention to developments not only because they’re interesting but because we should (if a bit ironically) celebrate actual innovation rather than having to reverse engineer after losing blueprints. But, specifically, this article focuses on the nose landing gear for SNC’s DreamChaser, which will theoretically be able to bring seven astronauts at a time into low Earth orbit and the ISS.
Things to Keep in Mind for Sci-Fi Planets: Saturn’s Titan has seasons, which is cool (seeing as how it’s winter in the south for them), if not directly relevant to our theorizing about life there. But it does bring up a point that many sci-fi alien stories overlook: planets are complex. They have seasons, different environments, different climate patterns and, possibly, different ecosystems. If a planet has one advanced life form, chances are it doesn’t exist in a vacuum: there will be thousands or millions of less and equally advanced organisms. Or maybe even more advanced – who says the first aliens that say ‘hello’ will be the top species on even their own planet? The point is, planets aren’t unchanging and one-dimensional, and we should take advantage of this in fiction.
Britain Gets Points for Back-Up Plans: It wasn’t too long ago that
was celebrated across the Internet for actually having plans about what to do
in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Now they’ve moved on to alien invasion
plans due to popular demand. Even if a great deal of skepticism follows UFOs, the
Ministry of Defence says there’s no harm in being prepared and, really, we don’t
know there aren’t aliens. Here’s a link to the actual documents if you want a
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Rachel is the co-founder of How To Survive Alien Invasion Novels, and spends her time writing, studying, and reading what would probably be considered far too many books. Connect with her and Rusty on Twitter and Facebook, and click here to read more of her articles about alien theories and how to survive alien invasion novels.