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One of the solutions to the Fermi Paradox is the idea that we are the first civilization in this galaxy. With the need for stars to build up the heavier elements needed to create long carbon chains. I have an issue with this, in that time moves a lot faster than most people realize. We are only 100 human lifetimes from Stonehenge. We went from advanced hunter-gatherer societies to space flight in the geologic blink of an eye. If we are 10,000 years behind everyone else, they must be so advanced that we are but ants. 100 years ago electricity was a luxury, we barely had flying machines, and health care was just starting to come into its own (Vaccines are about 100 years old, mass vaccination programs are only 60 years old).

Space is big, very big. Other stars that can host planets like ours are far away and those planets are very hard to find. The James Webb Telescope will let us for the first time sample the atmospheres of exoplanets, and the TESS mission launching next week will find the targets to look at. I was listening to a telecast about TESS and they think that TESS will find 17K-20K exoplanets... we have verified just about 4K now.

The question about are we alone? We will be getting closer to confirming that within the next 20 years. If we land on Europa? I hope we find DNA and bacteria. It's an exciting time to be a space nerd.