Arthanari Chandrasekaran

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What will Earth go through if NASA finds a new habitable planet.

There are plenty of planets and planetary systems being identified over the past decade. As a human being we always tend to move to something new and better and ignore the old and used leaving the value proposition not the highest priority.

In a planet governed by such a population what would Earth go through if there is a habitable planet which the richer humanity chooses to jump in.

How will the investment percentage be prioritized between Earth and the New Earth.

  • Jan 18 2014: Not much since we do not yet possess an advanced technology to get there. Our current, extremely primitive technology has no chance at all to get even to our nearest neighbour star which is a trivial 4 light years away. So, even though the fact that a planet is discovered to have life on it, which of course would be a great discovery, second only to the discovery of another alien civilisation, no one will think much about it since it would not directly impact their lives. If, on the other hand, we possessed spaceships capable of travelling there in a short period of time then this would take on a very different character among everyone on the planet. Many major corporations would become interested in exploiting the new planet in some way (no doubt to its severe detriment as they have done on earth). There would be scientific expeditions organised, some people may want to migrate there etc.
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    Jan 18 2014: Should we not ask a few critical questions first? What is the distance of the "habitable planet" from earth? Based on current technology and the limits of human body, is it possible for us to even attempt to colonize that planet? What if this "habitable planet" has already intelligent life living on it and will its inhabitants be hospitable to aliens like us?
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    Jan 12 2014: There will be some who have that adventurous spirit who would travel to distant planets in spite of maybe not surviving or returning to earth... all the problems as noted by Nadav Tropp. But, I am thinking that most people would stay behind and the departing few would not make a big difference on the rest of us.
    But, should a huge meteor be on the way to knock earth from orbit and there was a distant planet where mankind could survive... then it would be every man for himself.
  • Jan 10 2014: Each planet will mostly manage its own resources and affairs, at least after the initial colonization period. Even if the habitable planet was within our own solar system (say, someone started terraforming Mars or Venus), getting anything physical across the interstellar gap is a long, expensive process.
    If the colony is on another solar system, you can pretty much forget about anything other then one way trips and radio contact (with a several year time delay in the latter, and, and at the very least decades of travel n the former).
    Nothing short of faster then light travel will change that, and no one's even sure that's physically possible at all.

    You also have to consider how these planets will be settled to begin with. The colonists will never see earth again, and the only possible contact with their former life is radio, which if we're outside the solar system, will have years of time delay (not to mention everyone they know may have all died already due to relativistic time differences). This means that there will never be any profit in the project for anyone that stayed on earth, which makes funding difficult, and if anything, it'll be expensive.
    One way or the other, its not exactly an effective means to control population growth. Shipping people off is going to be much, much too expensive for that, and one can only assume that the harsh life on an undeveloped colony world won't appeal to many.