Discovery of Alien Life

So - here’s a crazy idea for a sub domain in the Space domain. Do we want to devote a competition to the discovery of alien life - intelligent or not?

I like the idea, but it might be difficult to reach scientific consensus about the success.

What do you all think?

@RebeccaSETI and @ncabrol, we would love your thoughts on this!

It is interesting and insane. I wonder:

  1. How to define success? As you mentioned, it could be very hard.
  2. Can it be performed within a reasonable period, e.g. 10 years? Or it may take much longer?
  3. Will the success bring significant commercial potentials which a XPRIZE usually has?

About 3 - If we’re talking about intelligent alien life, then hell yeah. There’s no way of knowing what kind of technologies and scientific knowledge they could share with us, but it’s bound to be worth a lot.

If we’re talking about non-intelligent life… well, the economic benefits are less evident.

About 1 - maybe success could be determined by a panel of top scientists - xeno-biologists, physicists, chemists, etc. - who could vote which team has either succeeded, or at least gotten close to success.

About 2 - I don’t think there’s any way of knowing that in advance. But maybe we could a long-lasting competition - decades long, if needed - with an open prize purse just waiting for someone to pick it up?

@TerryMulligan - Do you think this kind of a model might work?

Cool, it looks have to be a new type of XPRIZE.

About 2: Maybe the prize purse can be kept open and continuously accept donation? If it could be a 100-year competition, the prize money may have to grow up from time to time.

About 1: Yes, a committee or a similar mechanism can make a decision. Just like how Nobel Prizes are given today.

About 3: It reminds me that one of the methods for detecting intelligent life is based on the assumption of Dyson sphere. May implementation of Dyson sphere or its variations be a supplementary challenge for this idea?

  1. That would a totally new type of XPRIZE competition, but it could certainly theoretically happen.

  2. I don’t think we need to specify detection of a Dyson Sphere, but constructing one could be an audacious (to say the least) XPRIZE competition. I’ll open this for discussion :slight_smile:

@Visioneer1, welcome to the XPRIZE Community! I wonder if you have thoughts on this discussion?