Human Technology Migrates to Five Planets

Jason1inspaceIn a recent issue of Seed Online, David Grinspoon, author of Lonely Planets -The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life and principal scientist at Boulder's Southwest Research Institute, notes that on February 28, 2007, for the first time, human technology will be operating on five planets (including Earth). The New Horizons spacecraft will cruise past Jupiter at a distance of 2.5 million km and use the giant planet's gravitational pull to redirect the craft toward Pluto (which it will reach in 2015) as it inspects Jupiter and its moons. Cassini will still be circling Saturn, and a growing armada of spacecraft will continue to patrol Mars, including the Exploration Rovers. Across the Pond, the European Space Agency's Venus Express will be building up an unprecedented trove of data on the climate and atmosphere of Earth's parched, burnt, acidic sister world. In billions of years, Earth is destined to wind up like Venus as the sun ages and warms. Perspective from this era of interplanetary prospecting will help reveal our planet's complexities.