Wellcome Trust Blog

We’re publishing the shortlisted entries to the 2012 Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize. Here, to coincide with World Space Week, Andrew Rushby on the romance of our furthest travelling interstellar space probe.

As the Voyager 1 space probe cradles the edge of our Solar System, poised to enter the vacuous expanse of deep space, we are approaching a milestone that many on this planet are not aware of. As this magnificent example of human engineering leaves the confines of the warm embrace of our Sun, at ~120 AU (astronomical units) a now faint and distant beacon in the enveloping darkness, we will become an interstellar species. The gravitas of this monumental achievement should not be overlooked.

Whilst it remains theoretically feasible that our universe may be teaming with life, intelligence of space-faring calibre may be exceedingly rare. We, the product of a knife-edge balancing-act between biological, geochemical and…

View original post 711 more words

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s