Saturday, August 2, 2008


Physicist Freeman Dyson needs no introduction; his name is synonymous with cutting edge science, space exploration and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Dyson worked on Project Orion from 1957 to 1961, which proposed the possibility of space-flight using nuclear pulse propulsion. A prototype was demonstrated using conventional explosives, but after the signing of the partial nuclear test ban treaty which banned the testing of nuclear weapons other than underground, Project Orion was terminated.

Today on Cosmic Visions I have posted the TED talk filmed in February 2003 and posted in early July featuring Dyson. In this wonderful video Freeman Dyson suggests that we start looking for life on the moons of Jupiter and out past Neptune, in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. He talks about what such life would be like and how we might find it.

One of the themes of covered in this talk was also the premise of a very exciting and thought provoking hard science fiction short story by Mike Combs entitled "Eyes, Shining Back from the Dark". The following article “The Reenchantment of the Solar System: A Proposed Search for Local ET’s” by Dr. Gregory Matloff also looks at the fascinating and frightening possibility that spacefaring extraterrestrial civilizations have already begun colonizing our own back yard.