A new analysis of data from NASA’s Kepler spacecraft by Erik Petigura has revealed that there could be billions of habitable Earth-size planets in the galaxy. According to Mr. Petigura’s paper, published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, one out of every five sunlike stars in the galaxy has a planet roughly the size of Earth flying in orbits around those suns – at distances that make temperatures on the planet neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist.
So what’s next in space exploration? Some scientists speculate that a permanent residence on the Moon would be the next logical step. Others predict a human mission to Mars will be feasible by the mid-21st century. Whatever the task at hand, technology companies like IBM and others will be there to lend their technological know-how and scientific expertise to help explore the boundaries of what’s possible.
For many millions of people around the world, the most dramatic moment in the history of space flight was the first lunar landing 35 years ago. Of course, the journey to the Moon began long before Neil Armstrong stepped out of the Eagle onto the Sea of Tranquility, and it was built on a series of accumulating achievements over many years. IBM was involved both at the beginning of that journey and throughout. And in the three decades following the July 1969 Apollo 11 mission, IBM continued to play an important role in mankind’s exploration of the high frontier and in the increasing use of space for science, communications and business.
Did you know that IBM’s involvement with the US space program began even before NASA existed? In fact, IBM developed computers for NASA’s predecessor, the US National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. IBM was involved in the Apollo program from the beginning. And in the three decades following the July 1969 Apollo 11 mission, IBM continued to play an important role in humankind’s exploration of the high frontier—helping advance science, communications and business. Learn more
(Video description): A global collaboration of 19 countries, the SKA will be the largest and most sensitive radio telescope ever built. The SKA will revolutionize humankind’s understanding of the cosmos by answering questions about the origin and evolution of the universe, as well as other mysteries of time and space. It will consist of thousands of receptors stretched across an area the size of a continent—the total collecting area of these receptors combined will be approximately one square kilometer. IBM is working to map and model the complex ecosystem of capabilities that will be required to build the SKA.
- IBM and Space Flight (IBM Archives)
- IBM100: The Apollo Missions (IBM100)
- Billions of Earth-Like Planets Exist, Scientists Say (Bloomberg News, Nov 5, 2013)
- Earthshaking news: There may be other planets like ours (USA Today, Nov 4, 2013)
- Far Off Planets Like the Earth Dot the Galaxy (NY Times, Nov 4, 2013)
- IBM Celebrates Tech Behind First US Manned Space Flight (Computerworld, May 6, 2011)
- IBM Celebrates 50 Years of Human Space Flight (GovCon Executive, May 6, 2011)
- Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager, The Greater IBM Connection