There is a new exoplanet that has been discovered designated GJ 1214B, this exoplanet is said to be a global ocean world with a hot steam atmosphere at 230 degrees Celsius. Considering that there are hot vents on the bottom of our oceans that are hot enough to melt lead, and there are lifeforms that can exist around these vents, then this hot water exoplanet could easily harbor life. The Universe is incredibly large and has all kinds of planets, this exoplanet is orbiting a red dwarf star at a distance of 2 million kilometers every 38 hours. The boiling point of water goes up as the pressure increases. http://ceoe.udel.edu/deepsea/level-2/geology/vents.html hot vents on Earth are up to 400 degrees Celsius, but the water is not boiling due to the pressure. Therefore, this exoplanet having more mass and greater gravity than Earth would have a thicker atmosphere and more pressure at sea level. This would be an interesting planet to visit, the craft you landed in could take the form of a boat with of course a sealed compartment on top for the crew. Then you could cruise around and take readings as well as taking atmospheric samples and sending probes down into the ocean to look for lifeforms. The television series Lexx had a water planet, but that one was not boiling hot. This planet would be a worthwhile source of water to split into Hydrogen and Oxygen for powering spaceships.
It may not be for a long time that we ever get to visit, but it is nice to dream about this planet and the lifeforms that could call it home. There was a theory that Jupiter harboured lifeforms that floated in the clouds and fed and mated perpetually floating in the air, living balloons that never see solid ground and even gigantic birds that spend their entire life in the hydrogen atmosphere, with nowhere to land to roost. Carl Sagan was one proponent of this theory, we have sent probes into the atmosphere of Jupiter, the probe reached 160,000 Kilometers an hour when it entered the atmosphere and sent back data before it was crushed and vaporized by the temperature deep in the atmosphere of the great Jovian atmosphere. The core of Jupiter is 30,000 degrees Celsius, hotter than the surface of the Sun. I guess it is a possibility that life could exist on Jupiter discovering such lifeforms would be an incredible achievement for mankind, such beings would have no concept of mountains and lakes or oceans, so our poetry of beautiful landscapes would have no meaning, the only landscape they would know would be the constantly shifting clouds and the dangerous storms not to forget the great red spot, a massive vortex that extends miles down into the deep hydrogen clouds. Further down, the hydrogen gas is compressed into solid hydrogen metal, a light and durable metal indeed.
Mining this metal would require a craft that was made of a very strong metal indeed, it would have to survive the unimaginable pressure within the deepest reaches of the Jovian atmosphere and such a journey would not be possible for many decades or centuries henceforth. I wonder if the magical craft from the movie The Core would be able to stand the pressure? The surface of Neptune deep under the deep atmosphere could be covered in diamonds the size of Mt Rushmore. Imagine mining that, we could construct diamond based semiconductors that would revolutionised the world of technology forever. That is what we should be searching for instead of staying on this planet fighting wars and falling into the next great depression. What good does it do us finding all of these exoplanets if we will never visit them? The moon Pandora in Avatar was quite an interesting world despite the toxic atmosphere, it was orbiting a gas giant planet that seemed to be a methane ammonia gas giant. I would have thought that a planet orbiting a gas giant would not be livable due to radiation, but I guess that the conditions on Pandora were more favourable to multi-cellular lifeforms. Avatar was a pretty good movie, the blue people with their global biological Ethernet network were something different, I wonder how it would pan out if the Gungans from Star Wars fought the Pandora natives, that would be an awesome fight.
The best Star Wars / Avatar crossover movie would be the Empire landing on Pandora and constructing a shield generator to protect the Death Star and the Stormtroopers battling the Na’vi. They probably would end up bombarding the planet from orbiting spaceships just as they should have done in the Starship troopers film. It was stupid to send troopers down to the surface when they could have built a missile that had a warhead composed of solid metal 10 meters thick and a hundred feet long, with engines and power plants attached and it reaches 100 Kilometers per second before impacting the surface of the planet. That would release a massive amount of energy and annihilate any lifeforms within a large radius. Or a 500 megaton thermonuclear bomb and use it to clear a large area of the planet easily. But getting back to the exoplanet that has been discovered, this is the best candidate for life yet, and even though it has very high gravity, the lifeforms submerged in water would not be bothered by this as much as lifeforms getting around on a continent. The universe is immense and harbours more strange planets than we can imagine. A lot of the discovered planets are gas giants orbiting very close to the parent star, they would be far too hot for life anyway. I wish we could visit these planets sometime, but with the global financial situation it seems it will only be done in Science Fiction.
Even visiting Mars would be incredible, there is plenty of water ice in permafrost and carbon dioxide ice as well. If you had gigantic mirrors in orbit that could focus light on the poles, and you initiated global warming that way, the planet could start warming up and the permafrost would thaw and oceans would begin to form. Imagine the valles marineris canyon 5 miles deep full of water, then it would be a simple matter to split the water into Hydrogen and Oxygen with electrolysis to make rocket fuel. It would take a very long time to terraform Mars, but our civilization needs to expand into space to help ensure our survival if some tragedy were to befall the Earth in the future, if we had not wasted trillions of dollars on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq we would be able to see manned missions to the Moon or Mars, instead we are fighting among ourselves and killing Americans and innocent Muslims in pointless wars. I am aware that World War II gave us the technology to explore the Moon and film horrendous quality television pictures of the surface of the Moon and bring back Moon rocks. And to send the Voyager probes that photographed Jupiter and Saturn. The first Voyager probe has now left the Solar system and is heading out into deep space. http://www.spacetoday.org/SolSys/Voyagers20years.html in the year 296,000 the Voyager 2 probe will come within 4.3 light-years of the Sirus binary star system.
Voyager is only travelling at 39,000 miles an hour, so the brave little space probe that could is now truly alone, except for the Voyager 2 probe following behind.