The Allen Telescope Array and the search for alien life is back on, thanks in no small part to the US Air Force. While funding included personal donations from fans, the bulk of the cash for the search for ET has come from USAF Space Command. Point those radio arrays at Kepler-22b boys -- time to find out whether there really are aliens.
The money, as always, doesn't come free. Space Command is looking at the ATA's ability to detect space craft and satellites a whole-lot closer to home -- Space Situational Awareness it calls it. But that shouldn't stop SETI from kick-starting again, and now it has a target, or 54. Jill Tarter, the Director of the Center for SETI Research said:
"For the first time, we can point our telescopes at stars, and know that those stars actually host planetary systems -- including at least one that begins to approximate an Earth analog in the habitable zone around its host star. That's the type of world that might be home to a civilization capable of building radio transmitters."
Let's hope the funding lasts long enough to detect something interesting, and hopefully early enough, so that whatever is making noise is not right on our doorstep. If we really did find signs of intelligent life on other planets, perhaps it'd be enough to unite the globe and put our petty troubles behind us -- or then again, we'll probably still be fighting it out over oil, diamonds and the Sun, when ET arrives to plunder our planet. [SETI via The Register]
Image credit: SETI