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Munich astronaut Ulrich Walter: “Yes, there are aliens!”


Highlights: Munich astronaut Ulrich Walter: “Yes, there are aliens!”. As of: February 12, 2024, 2:51 p.m By: Isabel Winklbauer CommentsPressSplit Anyone who looks at the starry sky on a clear night can't help but think: They must exist, the aliens! Munich astronaut and scientistUlrich Walter thinks the same way. “We will never meet them,” he says, “we will never even communicate with them.”

As of: February 12, 2024, 2:51 p.m

By: Isabel Winklbauer




Anyone who looks at the starry sky on a clear night can't help but think: They must exist, the aliens!

Munich astronaut and scientist Ulrich Walter thinks the same way.

Munich - “Yes, there are aliens outside,” he said on the occasion of his 70th birthday, “logic alone demands that because there are almost an infinite number of other planets.”

However, the TU professor of space technology is not very confident that we humans will ever exchange ideas with the inhabitants of other worlds.

“We will never meet them,” he says, “we will never even communicate with them.

But it has to exist.”

TU professor for space technology in an interview

According to Walter, the main problem that arises when communicating with aliens is the incredible distances - even within our galaxy, the Milky Way, where there may be habitable planets just a few light years away, we would not be able to talk to other civilizations.

“Even there, the distances are so great that other people’s signals disappear into the galactic noise.” It has been proven that messages from aliens from other galaxies would never be picked up if they sent them.

Traveling to inhabited planets is certainly not possible.

“Such flights would take more than 10,000 years.”

TU professor Ulrich Walter in his office.

© Achim Frank Schmidt

Munich astronaut believes Mars mission is possible in the late 2030s

After all, Walter believes a manned Mars mission is possible from the end of the 2030s.

Here, humans could possibly find evidence of past life: In January, the European Space Agency Esa reported that there were probably huge masses of ice beneath the surface of the Red Planet that could cover the entire planet in a 2.7 meter thick layer of water.

And water means: life.

Before, now or in the future.

In this regard, the Hubble Space Telescope recently delivered a sensation: it discovered water vapor on a small exoplanet outside our solar system.

Walter before his departure on the space shuttle Columbia in 1993. © dpa

GJ 9827d is located 97 light-years away from us in the constellation Pisces, is six billion years old and almost twice the size of Earth.

“Water on such a small planet is a groundbreaking discovery,” said scientist Laura Kreidberg from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, who was involved in the discovery.

Unfortunately, the outside temperature on GJ 9827d is 400 degrees, but who knows, the next Hubble hit might have a more life-friendly temperature.

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“The basis for biological life is everywhere”

Water, carbon, energy: “The basis for biological life is everywhere,” says Walter.

But: “The improbability” for this to occur “is, firstly, that a planet has to get exactly the right amount of energy from a sun-like star.”

A second critical point is that a first cell arises from inanimate matter.

In order for living beings to emerge, a lot of things have to come together in the universe.

Nevertheless, Ulrich Walter considers Bavaria's space program to be important.

In particular the production of satellites.

“There are now thousands of people orbiting the earth.

Without them, everyday life with smartphones and navigation systems would not be possible.

Why leave this market to others?”

The spiral arms of the Milky Way are clearly visible on summer nights.

© Peter Komka / dpa

Ulrich Walter is one of twelve Germans who have flown into space so far.

He was aboard the Columbia in 1993 as it orbited the Earth.

Born in Iserlohn, he studied physics in Cologne, then went to Berkeley in the USA, where the famous Seti project was founded, in which computer owners worldwide used combined computing power to search telescope data for extraterrestrial messages.

In 1988, the father of two daughters applied to become an astronaut and was accepted.

But now he will withdraw and work in popular science, he announced.

He will soon be giving up his chair.

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Source: merkur

All news articles on 2024-02-12

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