"Artist impression of the exoplanet 51 Pegasi b" by ESO/M. Kornmesser/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org) / CC BY 4.0

Humans Will Never Live on Another Planet, Nobel Laureate Says. Here’s Why.

Oct 14, 2019

By Yasemin Saplakoglu

Here’s the reality: We’re messing up the Earth and any far-out ideas of colonizing another orb when we’re done with our own are wishful thinking. That’s according to Michel Mayor, an astrophysicist who was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in physics this year for discovering the first planet orbiting a sun-like star outside of our solar system.

“If we are talking about exoplanets, things should be clear: We will not migrate there,” he told Agence France-Presse (AFP). He said he felt the need to “kill all the statements that say, ‘OK, we will go to a livable planet if one day life is not possible on Earth.'”

All of the known exoplanets, or planets outside of our solar system, are too far away to feasibly travel to, he said. “Even in the very optimistic case of a livable planet that is not too far, say a few dozen light years, which is not a lot, it’s in the neighbourhood, the time to go there is considerable,” he added.

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One comment on “Humans Will Never Live on Another Planet, Nobel Laureate Says. Here’s Why.”

  • That is also ignoring the many environmental factors that will make it impossible for humans to thrive on a different planet.  Differing gravity will affect fertility and the ability to successfully bring a fetus to term, as well as proper growth thereafter.  Organs and bones will not grow properly in the 1/3rd earth gravity on Mars, even if we could make it to Mars, even if we could construct huge domes and pump them full of atmosphere, even if we burrowed underground and try to maintain pressure, light, and heat there.  We cannot grow enough food to maintain a viable population even on Mars, even ignoring the issues of proper development of our children.

    The fact that we cannot hope to reach any of the exoplanets identified thus far is the least of our worries.  Atmospheric differences, tidal differences, gravity differences.  We need specific nutrients that are unlikely to be readily available.  We rely on microbes that may very well fail to thrive in a foreign environment.  Said environments are highly likely to be loaded with substances that are harmful to us – allergens as well as flat-out toxic substances.  Existing life forms that will be inimical to us, and most likely indigestible without significant processing at the very least.

    I think we are about to experience first-hand the reason for why the universe is silent – by the time a life form develops enough technology to even think about reaching out across the galaxies, it has most likely warred and/or poisoned itself to death. Report abuse

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