After the arrival on the Moon, and despite the clear interest in the colonization of the red planet, it seems that the sights of some NASA scientists are also focused on the other side of space, preparing an initiative to design a potential future spacecraft to reach Proxima B, an exoplanet 4.2 light-years away that appears to be adapted to support life. Although first they want to be able to communicate with him.
Under the name of «The Tree of Life», this project «will connect the Earth and outer space through a song, which will be sent via radio waves between an orbiting spacecraft and a rare technological component: a set of living trees enabled to operate as large living antenna systems«Details the description of the inaugural project of the Space Song Foundation, the non-profit organization dedicated to the design and manufacture of this sustainable technology for long-range space missions.
But why trees? «The tree of life advances towards the demonstration of our long-term approach to design and nature, on Earth and in outer space“Says Julia Christensen, president of the Space Song Foundation. They should continue to exist for many decades and can tell a larger story about life on our planet, thus avoiding consumerism and the complexities of e-waste on our planet and in outer space, a growing concern as space exploration it becomes more accessible.
Travel that distance it would take approximately 6,300 years with current technology, which is why scientists are looking for innovations that push the limits of the longevity of technology. The Space Song Foundation has scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory among its members, although it is not officially affiliated with NASA.
But while the trees are ready to take center stage, the spacecraft at the center of the acoustic experiment has yet to be built, though Steve Matousek, advanced concept manager at NASA’s JPL Innovation Laboratory, says that the team will start testing prototypes next year.