The Comet Hopper
The comet hopper, Rosetta
philae, is an artificially
created life-form designed to colonize and terraform comets. First
thought of in the late 1980's, the “manufacture” of the comet
hopper took more than ten years, and is one of the greatest
scientific undertakings of its time.
artificially created, the planet hopper cannot be classified into the
of life, and thus, an entirely new branch has been added to the tree
of life. Next to fungi, plantae, animalia, protozoeae and monoreae,
we now have the homoformeae. Although the comet hopper is their only
representative as of now, the new kingdom might grow faster than most
was designed not only to reach comets, but to start analyzing the
surface components of these comets, and, if at all possible, gather
the materials necessary for it to build a replica of itself, thus
imitating, or becoming, life. The exact nature of the materials, as
well as other information it can find on the comets, is sent directly
back to earth, so that new command modules can be designed, to
improve adaptability of the comet hopper, and allow it to create
replicas of itself with materials not found on earth.
the comet hopper had to be shot into space for its first landing, and
the cost and time involved in this operation would not allow us to
mass-replicate it in current economical conditions, spreading philae
from its initial home might not be quite as complicated.
with the latest model of movement sensors and cameras, the comet
hopper can scan not only the comet on which it has landed, but also
passing celestial objects. Once the comet hopper has created a clone
of itself, this clone will then wait for another comet passing
nearby, or any other astrological body of sufficient size, and hop
from one comet to the next. Given the low gravity of the comet, and
the precise mathematical algorithms that have been programmed into
the comet hopper, this jump should not be of much difficulty,
although the landing could pose some risks.
course, many have objected that the chances of encountering a
suitable object are too low, or that the replication of the comet
hopper would take too long. However, this is without considering the
circumstances of the whole project.
a human-made object in space, the lifetime of philae
is much longer than that of the organic life on our planet, which is
constantly subject to oxidation, radiation, and other degrading
mechanisms of aggressive compounds. But
for a man-made structure in space, circumstances are quite different,
and their lifespan should be considered accordingly.
the programming of the comet hopper has gone well, the new life-form
will execute its mission regardless of the time it will take. And who
knows? Maybe in a hundred years, or maybe in a thousand, there will
be a small representative of the homoformeae coming back to our
planet. And won't it be fascinating to see what evolution has done to