back to article NASA delays Kepler launch for rocket checks

NASA has moved back the launch of one of the most eagerly-anticipated spacecraft for some time, in order to check out concerns regarding its launch rocket. The Kepler telescope, expected by many to discover evidence of habitable worlds orbiting other stars, will wait until March 6 while engineers re-examine elements of its …

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Stop

Sigh

Yet again, you reiterate assertions that there must be life elsewhere, without a single shred of evidence to back it up, either from you or those who originally published their guesswork (because that's what it is).

Guesswork != science.

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@AC 12:41

Haven't you seen the Star Trek documentary series on television?

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Alien

WTF?

What is it about us humans that makes us smug enough to assume there's only life on Earth and we're the best there is?? We're little more than very evil, self destructive primates and I'd far sooner put money on finding little green men in outer space than oh say, Wacky Jacqui complying with European law or all the greedy spivs apologising for the downturn and turning over their ill-gotten gains.

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@Anonymous Coward

It's quite amazing how Reg readers can invent 'assertions' in pieces. The only two places that discuss Kepler's mission say:

'The Kepler telescope, expected by many to discover evidence of habitable worlds orbiting other stars...'

Note the word 'habitable', not 'inhabited'. In other words worlds where life as we know it *could* exist.

'At least one serious boffin in America is sure that many such potentially-habitable worlds will be discovered by Kepler, and thus that the existence of life elsewhere in the universe - even if only basic, microbe-level life - is a racing cert. Heavyweight British boffins have also backed this view'.

So the American boffin is sure Kepler will discover worlds that are potentially habitable, again not necessarily inhabited. 'The existence of life is a racing cert', in other words quite likely. How many people have lost substantial amounts of money on 'racing certs'? There's no assertion in this piece that there *must* be life elsewhere.

All science is based on guesswork -- scientists call them hypotheses. They are tested against the facts to see if they're good guesses or bad guesses. The more evidence that supports them, the more likely the guesses are to be correct and the closer they become to scientific 'fact'.

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Science and guesswork

Any theoretical science is mostly guesswork - intellegent and educated guesswork for sure but guesswork none the less. The next stage is to perform an experiment to prove or disprove the guesswork, eg the Higgs bosun and the Large Hadron Collider. Life on other worlds falls into this category, guesswork based on informed thinking. We now have to experiment to prove/disprove the guesswork. Part of the experiment has been done, we have proven the existance of other worlds beyond our own solar system, now we have to determine the existance or not of worlds in a region of space that will support life of a type we know. This is science, make a guess then prove or disprove it.

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Coat

Large Class-M town spotted in North Wiltshire

I can offer up some heavyweight evidence to support the notion that a place may be habitable by normal human standards, but no kind of life may be found there. Ladies and gentemen, I give you ... Swindon.

Mines the one with Connies take away menu in the pocket.

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Why I believe in alien life

Is because if Wacky Jacqui, Blinky Blunkett and the rest of them really are representative of the most advanced lifeform in the Universe, then the last 13 billion and something years have been completely wasted.

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