Is there another planet where we could live?
Russian billionaire, Yuri Milner, is wondering about this and spending big money, $100 million on "Breakthrough Listen" searching for intelligent life in the 92 billion-light-year-wide universe. He's scanning the nearest stars and the 100 closest galaxies, each of which could be home to hundreds of billions more stars harboring who-knows-how-many habitable planets.
Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Tesla's Elon Musk, and Virgin Records' Richard Branson, are also searching for other worlds, but the 53-year-old Milner is different from them. He has no commercial purpose. His project is a scientific endeavor. Milner's using some of the world's most powerful radio telescopes to scan the cosmos for regular or repeating signals that could be communication from another planet.
Miler's "Breakthrough Listen" -- his search for extraterrestrial intelligence -- is currently leasing time on the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia, and on Australia’s Parkes Radio Telescope, studying 10 times as much sky with 50 times greater sensitivity, at 100 times the processing speed. His project, eventually will be assisted by 9 million people around the world, who already allow their home computers to be used as part of a massive distributed network processing -- "SETI" Home. It is one of the largest supercomputers in the world.
Though Stephen Hawking has expressed doubts about the potential results of interstellar contact, Bezos, 51, sees finding a new world as a necessity and huge new market. CEO Eton Musk, 44, thinks we are going to run out of water and food, and must have another world to head toward. 65-year-old Richard Branson, since 1999, has been taking reservations on Virgin Galactic Airways, for outer pace trips at $98,000 a trip. His spokesman says, "It's now a matter of when, not if."
Will you and I ever migrate to another planet? Probably not, but these men dream of doing things that seem impossible. Ever heard that song? It's an overpowering feeling -- to hear it sung, or sing it yourself, and dream the impossible dream.