How would we communicate with them ?

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After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say "I want to see the manager." William S. Burroughs


The 'Wow!' Signal

What is the probability of extra-terrestrial life in the universe ?

Where and How should we Look ?

How would we communicate with them ?

What would be the significance of discovering them ?

How would we communicate with them ?

We should seriously question the wisdom of making contact with extra-terrestrials. Would it be like shouting in the jungle? Very very dangerous. We are at such an early stage of technological development that one wonders could we defend ourselves if it were necessary. But maybe the cats out of the bag already, since our telecommunication broadcasts beam out into space. We have already emitted countless signals for about 70 years in every direction. But, then again, in all that time they have only reached a handful of the closet stars.

Interstellar space travel is currently not feasible due to the great distances involved. Spacecraft propulsion technology cannot propel spaceships fast enough to reach the stars in a reasonable time. Also, the operational lifetime of current spacecraft is about 40 years. After that key components are likely to fail. So the Engineering of spacecraft as well as propulsion technology has to greatly advance to begin with.

Let's remember the most distant man-made object from Earth is Voyager 1, see the great Voyager Lie. Launched in 1977, it is about 9 billion miles from us (in 2006), a measly 13 light hours. The nearest star system is the Alpha Centauri system, about 4 light years from us. The center of our galaxy is about 40,000 light years from us! However relativistic time dilation as described in Einstein's special and general theories on relativity does offer an opportunity to shorten the duration of a space flight. Einstein showed that time travel was indeed a consequence of his theories. But this would only benefit those on board the spacecraft. So for the people left behind, the prospects of interstellar space travellers returning to Earth with tales from our Galaxy seems destined to be confined to the realms of science fiction.