Kepler Mission – Harvester of Worlds – By Rui Borges
It is in the condition of a member of the human tribe, that I, tonight, look at the skies amazed by its vastness and mysteries.
It is in this condition, as a descendent of those who, crossing mountains and valleys, forests and seas, found themselves, in the camouflage of the night, discovering a bonfire other than theirs, a tribe other than theirs.
This singular moment, connecting us, on one side, to our ancestors, and on the other to the present day when we will witness the launch of Kepler, spreads itself to the skies, as sparkles…when Kepler rises under a pillar of flames and hope, that will be the farewell to an era, waving a goodbye to the current truth that Earth is unique.
The doors of the galaxy will be wide open to our curiosity.
From the tribe’s bonfire to the conscience of our planet as a whole and from here to the amazing confirmation that this little corner of the Universe may be populated with myriads of other Earths, Kepler will help us connecting the dots that remained, until now, invisible in the distance, in the territories of dream and imagination, of theory and fiction.
From here on what await us is a whole new territory, a whole new quest, from Kepler’s results a new generation will work on new approaches that will permit us to enrich our knowledge about this distant worlds, on different areas like improved imaging techniques, communications, news ways of beating the immense distance, art in its every forms of expression…a generation working together, finding new ways to walk an incoming new path. A global goal may be right ahead of us, Kepler may mark the border between a Solar Mankind and a Galactic Mankind.
Rising, thundering, Kepler will unleash the first chapter of the Book of Other Earths, aiming at the distant stars, it will be the eyes of the human tribe seeking for their relatives lost since the beginning of all things. The Universe itself will get smaller, we will gain a whole new sense of space and if we, in a remote past, guided our steps by the Milky Way lights now it is the time to look in the galaxy itself for a new pilgrimage.
Tonight, here, on a yet solitary Earth, staring at the stars, I am a joyful man for having the privilege of witnessing such a moment that is why I can’t avoid to smile thinking that Kepler will reduce solitude to an obsolete concept, that this mission will make us leave the dark of the cave and contemplate, in awe the legion of worlds like our own awaiting us on the outside.
Kepler, harvester of worlds, will turn the dreams of yesterday into reality, the lands of myth will transport themselves into the realms of science and, when that happens, Mankind will assume the challenge of embarking on a truly astounding quest, to know more about this distant lands and to create the conditions that will allow its inquisitive nature to spread beyond the solar system.
Other earths mirrored in the Milky Way, waiting for the harvester of worlds to lay its eyes upon them, through the eyes of Kepler planets will germinate, and from there we will add one more word to the answer we all, as a species, as life itself, await: Is there anybody out there?