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banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Jun-14, 01:45 PM
Would a space "ark" be a good/feasable idea? By that I mean, a probe carrying the genomes to human, animal and plant species....what would be the odds of someone finding it?

Nicolas
2006-Jun-14, 01:48 PM
With our current launch possibilities, they'll find it quite close to us. So on the scale of the universe, it would not really increase chances compared to them finding Earth itself I would think. It appears to me a bit like sending a mouse 50 meters in front of an elephant. By the time you find the mouse, you're quite certain to see that that "rock" in the distance moves quite a lot compared to normal rocks, and features a trunk.

It would increase the chances, but I think it would be marginal.

Doodler
2006-Jun-14, 02:01 PM
No, I doubt it would.

1) We can't even muster an effective power system for long term voyages into the outer Solar System that last more than a decade or two.

2) Our hardware tends to suffer critical breakdowns on long term missions starting around the ten year mark because of the rigors of the environment that its operating in.

Unless there's some stunning improvement in technology, I do not see many unmanned missions lasting beyond the ten year mark beyond the asteroid belt.

banquo's_bumble_puppy
2006-Jun-14, 02:06 PM
my reason for asking this question has to do with the Stephan Hawking article on CNN

http://edition.cnn.com/2006/TECH/space/06/14/humansurvival.hawking.ap/index.html

selden
2006-Jun-14, 02:08 PM
In principle, no power or equipment would be needed to keep the samples frozen: only passive insulation and a solar shield would be needed initially. Once the probe has gotten far enough away from the sun, things should stay frozen.

I'd be more concerned about degredation due to cosmic rays, slow chemical reactions and sublimation. Given the speed of our current probes, it'd be a very long time before such a time capsule might be found. Unless, of course, our not-too-distant descendants discover they have a need for what it contains.

Ronald Brak
2006-Jun-14, 02:16 PM
Not to mention that aliens that find it might regard it as a free lunch.

Ara Pacis
2006-Jun-14, 05:17 PM
I think it might be a good idea, but I don't think it would be for aliens to discover but for future earthlings to rediscover. Anyone remember what the results to LDEF were?