Absolutely delighted to hear that Philae woke up today… (yes the little probe that landed on a comet) and even better it sent some more data. So fingers crossed that it will be able to continue its mission.
But why is it so important?
Two reasons: we will find out more about the Solar System’s origins and that will help to predict what will happen in the Solar System in the future; and we will know more about comets so that if ever a comet is on impact collision with Earth, we have a better understanding how to defend against one. There are also purely commercial reasons. Once we get into space properly, we can mine comets, asteroids for their minerals and ice. Also, we can hitch ride on passing comets and use whatever materials they have to offer instead of lugging stuff up out of Earth’s gravity well.
The results, when the analysis is finally done, will make some science fiction stories out of date because the writers ‘got their predictions wrong’. But it does mean that the new knowledge can lead to new science fiction stories.
In the meantime the New Horizon probe heading out towards Pluto has sent in some early pictures, which have got the scientists intrigued. Just what is that stripe across its face? They have also determined that Dwarf Planet’s moons orbit it ‘chaotically’. I’m sure there’s a decent science fiction story that can be written about that. I’ve never seen a story that uses chaotic lunar motion as the basis of a story. So there is certainly scope there for come up with new stories.
Have fun writing them… I have other stories to write… exciting ones…