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Organic Molecules on a Comet

This is really fascinating stuff. The odds that life exists outside the the planet earth seem to be improving with each new tentative step that our noosphere takes into that broader cosmos.

The obsession early in the development of space exploration with sending humans out into space may have been a distraction , a snare and a delusion created by the Cold War. Both the Russians and the Americans had to highlight their/our technological abilities in a way that  could be portrayed as non-threatening, each side wanted to portray itself as the future.

But our species gets to learn more about the world outside our immediate ken more effectively if life support issues are taken off the table, with the work either automated or remotely controlled.

Thus: Philae, the European Space Agency's probe, has the honor of having discovered carbon-based, i.e. organic, molecules on a comet, one known alphanumerically as 67P.

Here's a link: Click me!

Among the organic molecules discovered are amino acids. Those of my readers who remember of bit of high school biology will recognize that phrase. If your memory fails you -- those are the constituent parts out of which enzymes are made, and the critical chemical reactions, the reactions that are life, are those in which enzymes serve as the catalyst.

Just: wow.


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