Thursday, 18 June 2015

The Voice from the Other World

Hello Earth!

Remember Star Trek with its famous USS Enterprise moving at warp speed with Capt Kirk in command? Or consider the recent confounding sci-fi thrillers like ‘Gravity’ and ‘Interstellar’ talking of 'n' dimensions and wormholes and space travel. I would seem a relic if I say that our favourite sci-fis just came true because let's face it, today's space flicks more or less reflect the actual nature and scope of the space research of the times. A case in point being Philae probe 'waking up' on Sunday on a far flung comet in the Milky Way called 67P. Last November it landed on the icy comet and like a full-blown movie script, bumped into a ditch and switched off after 60 hours. It's mothership Rosetta which launched the probe into the comet is still in the orbit which is somewhere in the Kuiper belt. It could not transmit any information till a miracle happened a few days ago and the probe tweeted 

"Hello Earth! Can you hear me?

Aah!! How musical does this particular tweet sound, so replete with the happiness of having found a long lost friend, a friend who had been lost in the wide wide---not world mind you! The world is too tiny to be of any significance in this context; I am talking of the universe-and space, vast amounts of space, where distance and time are interchangeable, where the unfathomable distance defies the speed of light, where we measure the time in years. In that vast space, we have our own messengers and one such i.e  the probe Philae is sending messages to us from an address from where it takes 16 minutes for a radio signal to reach us. Poor Philae! How lonely you must be! In those vast swathes of nothingness, among the stars and the unknown gases and the blackness and the lack of light and sometimes, the abundance of it! We are so glad to hear from you! The space guys must be celebrating Christmas early. The space aficionados must be waiting anxiously to devour all the data that the faithful bot collected for us. It is supposed that the probe fell into a ditch on the comet's surface and so the batteries ran out and couldn't be recharged by the sun. Now when the comet is at a perihelion distance, the sun has infused life into the comatose probe and once again it is transmitting. 

And what do we expect to find? It is surmised that the remnants of the solar system are carried by the comets which transfer these gases and matter to the planets where they sojourn while on their space odyssey. Some such comets might have landed on the earth sometime, produced the craters and gifted it with life-producing gases of the likes of O2 and N2. 
Is it even possible? 
Well, anything is possible. You have seen how pollen is carried by wind, leaves and various other agents and transferred to the flowers for new seeds and the birth of new plants? Couldn't it be possible that these comets are the universal pollen agents helping to bring about life? What with Pluto back in the league of planets, one must admit anything is possible. Those skeptics  who still scoff at the plausibility of life outside earth will do better to listen to Elon Musk, who has invested billions on his Project Space X. He is affirmative that Mars has life or at least some other planet surely does. He has already planned inter planetary trips and even booked the candidates for the excursions, even if they are one-way trips for the time being. I was wondering if the criminals could be given such a ticket to outer space and made to feel actual sequestration? Not much chance for relapse, is there? Food for thought!

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