The truth is out there!
The crash materials are being safely guarded by sasquatches.
Let’s just hope that if we do get visitors , they don’t land at a Trump rally and make their assessment of us based on the attendees.
With all of the space junk we have hurled into outer space, someday millions of years from now some of it might end up being found by party or parties unknown.
It could happen. Just like I could win the lottery could happen. Then again I think the odds of finding our space junk are likely worse than winning the lottery.
Until faster than light travel is made possible, it is unlikely we will know of any other sentient life forms near us.
Then again, maybe we won the space junk lottery.
The bigger issue with respect to space junk is that all the litter in LEO will stop us from leaving the planet anyway. Whenever I look at my Night Skys app the number of expended rocket bodies is astounding. It’s a real issue. I used to work with a guy, a super genius in my opinion, who had an idea on how to pulverize stuff down to micrometeor size. Nothing has been implemented yet, and the problem is only getting worse.
Until I retired two years ago I spent several years working at the Combined Space Operations Center (Top Secret clearance), previously referred to as Joint Space Operations Center, at Vandenberg Space Force Base in Northern Santa Barbara County. Among other things, we kept track of everything that orbits the Earth, ten’s of thousands of objects, 95% junk (briefly addressed in video below). I was on the staff of Lt General David Buck for two years, he can be seen in the video linked below. It is now a little bit dated but many of the ideas are still relevant. Prior to the stand up of The U.S. Space Force I/we worked for Air Force Space Command.
What HoopUte refers to above is a phenomena deemed Keesler Syndrome, proposed by Donald Kessler in the 1970’s, is that eventually the contamination of low earth orbit (LEO), where the overwhelming majority of satellites and debris resides, will render it unusable. There is no known solution. Obviously MEO (middle earth orbit) and GEO (Geosynchronous Orbit) do not have this problem.
Now with regard to life beyond earth:
1 - Many people get overly influenced by what they see in movies. When pop culture and the lame stream media refers to UFO’s most people take that it refers to potentially intelligent aliens. It is a little surprising to me that this topic continues to get so much coverage, as does the abominable snowman or the Loch Ness Monster. This was further reinforced when I left a post here about something I experienced about 10 years ago. It was late November and I stepped out in my backyard to look at the stars before going to bed. Off to the Southeast, just above the horizon I saw an exceptionally bright object flashing white, blue, and red. My first thought was it was a plane on approach to the Santa Maria airport, the usual path being about 1 mile south of me. But this light didn’t seem to move. O.K., it’s the GoodYear blimp making its way north from L.A. to the bay area, or a helicopter. After appearing to hover in approximately the same location for about ten minutes, I jumped on Sky & Telescope’s interactive sky chart. I learned that what I was seeing was the brightest star in night sky, Sirius, which is visible in the Northern Hemisphere in late fall and winter. It also mentioned that when it is low on the horizon it sometimes flashes white, blue, and red. I mentioned my experience seeing a UFO (an object that was yet to be identified) on this site, and then explained what I learned. I was a little surprised at the number of board contributors who were still locked into the idea that the term UFO refers to some sort of intelligent alien being.
Unusual claims require unusual evidence. About 25 years ago I formulated the statement/opinion, if an extraterrestrial spacecraft lands at the half time of the Rose Bowl game (it can’t be the Super Bowl or Indy 500, etc., it must be the Rose Bowl) then I will be among the first to acknowledge that we have definitely been visited …
2 - Homo sapiens have been around for about 100,000 years. The universe is supposedly around thirteen billion years old. Let’s say we give the universe a couple billion years to cool to allow for formulation of life. Countless civilizations could have come and gone between then and the present, and we weren’t around to receive their message. How long are Homo sapiens expected to exist. How long is Division I football expected to exist before it collapses in one gigantic man caused greed extinction event.
3 - We have only been listening for extra-terrestrial radio signals for several decades, a teeny tiny slice of time. Somewhat along with what RockerUte mentions, objects in the universe are crazy far away and even at the speed of light, in human terms radio signals take a long time to traverse the distances involved. It would seem to me that you’d have to listen for say at least 50,000 years before you’d be anywhere close to formulating a decision one way or the other. I use the analogy, say you parachuted down to a remote spot in a desert and looked around you 360 degrees for five minutes looking for a Coyote. After not seeing one for five minutes you determined definitively that none existed. But rather, if you looked around for say two to three years, you might actually see one.
4 - It would seem highly likely that life exists elsewhere in the universe. You hardly ever find the existence of one instance of any living thing in nature. If some sort of primitive life where discovered on a moon and/or planet in our solar system, then the universe is absolutely teeming with life.
5 - “Intelligent life”, what that really means, and what advantages/disadvantages to long term survival it presents, are outside the scope of this discussion.
From what I understand about radio signals being broadcast from earth to space or from space to earth is that none of them would be even remotely strong enough to be detected on some other planet, they would be lost to background radiation. It would be like pouring a glass of Lake Michigan water in the Mississippi River at it’s headwaters then expecting to be able to detect that water in the river in New Orleans.
I likewise meant to include the difficulty of sending radio signals that could be detected several light years away from our solar system. Although a pulsar, which is fifty million light years away, transmits radio signals which are detected on Earth.
Probably our best shot at finding out if there is/was intelligent life on another planet is if some other planet had sent out a Voyager type spacecraft and it somehow traveled into our solar system and we were able to intercept it.
If an extra terrestrial space craft enters our solar system it most likely would have to have been sent several million years ago.
OK now, if we’ve got crashed extraterrestrial spacecraft stored away somewhere, I want to see them. Just think of how this would inspire the designers at Ford, Lexus, Porsche, and all the rest. Not to mention the movie business.