Stephen Hawking has committed to a renewed effort to find intelligent life in our cosmos. He has given his backing to Russian billionaire Yuri Milner who is spearheading the search by investing $100 million in the project. The Silicon Valley venture capitalist turned space explorer was an early funder of both Facebook and Twitter but has decided to spear head the largest project in the search for alien life. Two observatories, one is West Virginia in the US and another in New South Wales in Australia, will point at the nearest 1,000 stars to collect data over the next 10 years. There will be more data collected in a week with this project than any other project has in a year of observing. Dr. Werthimer, the scientist who will oversee the collection of data has said that the data will be open to everyone, speeding up the analysis process.
The telescopes will be scanning specifically for artificially made radio frequencies, which are generally less than 200 Hz and will have to filter out any possible false positives from satellites orbiting the earth. Dr. Drake who is another major scientist leading this expedition, has said that previously they would never have been able to afford the telescope time to undertake such a project. A lot of the money is to be spent on building new receiving equipment. With the inclusion of Yuri Milner, most of their financial problems have been solved as Dr. Drake said,
“We could never get enough telescope time, Yuri can fix that with the click of a pen.”
However the newest and most publicly notable addition to the team is none other than Stephen Hawking, who had some words of his own to say on this mission. He prepared a statement in which he stated:
“It’s time to commit to finding the answer – to search for life beyond Earth.”
“We are alive. We are intelligent. We must know.”