Do you think we will ever find life on extraterrestrial planets in our life time. That would be an amazing discovery to live to see.
We need to terraform it. Is that a real thing? Or is that just in Marvel comics? We need to terraform it.
Ive read brief plans to terraform mars... typically involving a timespan of over 1000 years before human habitation is viable. It's hard to get politicians thinking ahead further than the next election, 1000 years is a bit of a stretch!
I'm not sure how much hope there is for terraforming a planet with virtually no magnetosphere. Earth is sheltered from the solar wind by its magnetosphere which acts kind of like a magnet shell deflecting almost all of the radiation away from the surface. Any atmosphere created by terraforming would eventually be blown away by the solar wind. And any creatures on the surface would be very unusual by our standards because they'd have to be impervious to the solar radiation that our magnetosphere protects us from.
Terraforming is a theoretical possibility. With Mars we would have to somehow bulk up the atmosphere (so that we could go outside with just an oxygen mask, not a full blown pressure suit). We could do it by melting the ice caps, water and CO2, both very good greenhouse gases, so we might manage to warm it up.
The biggest problem after that would be somehow restoring Mars' electromagnetic field so every single little solar storm doesn't cook peoples' gonads.
As for the other question, it's hard to say whether we will or won't, Adam, because we don't really have a good idea of how common life ought to be. In large part that's because we don't know how it originated. I suspect we'll have plausible theories (at the very least) on that subject in the next couple of decades, at which point we can say life either is/is not probable given early-earth-like conditions. And by then we ought to have a good read on how common "early-earth-like conditions" are. (By the way "early-earth-like" conditions are not like what you are experiencing right now while reading this sentence. Too much oxygen just for one thing.)
Strega sent me this earlier tonight: an article about evidence of fossilized microorganisms found inside a meteorite. It's not rock solid (pardon the pun) as they could be natural formations that resemble biological structures, although the researchers say it's rather unlikely.
If this is true. Bang. Zoom. There you have it. Real pictures of actual aliens from outer space.
I'm betting on Europa, a moon of Jupiter. My profile page background features a photo of it. Besides the earth, Europa is thought to have the best environment to support life; a warm, oxygen-rich ocean. And not just microbial life that lived millions of years ago. But much larger, seagoing organisms, right now.
I'll get the fishing poles.
I believe it will be necessary for people to go look to truly settle the question. Probes can do a lot but they can't do something to answer the next question to raise. We are going to need to drill, then use microscopes on what we see.
"they can't do something to answer the next question that their findings raise." (correction in bold)
we are going to need to trill or dig, a lot deeper than a couple of inches then use microscopes...
Anyone we send there is going to be spending a lot of time underground as well. Between the storms and the radiation exposure, we'd probably have to send robot diggers ahead to make a cave system. In fact, it might be best not to send people there at all and just use robots for anything we want to do there.