Who doesn’t like to consider the possibility of aliens and extraterrestrial life? The recent discovery of the super-earth planets triggered the hope for an alien civilization. “Super-earths” are the extrasolar planets with higher mass than the Earth but lower mass than Neptune. Scientists believe that planets such as the Earth are extremely rare, however, super-earth planets are not that hard to find. According to a study, this excessive gravity can be fruitful for the formation of life, as it can pull down the gases creating a thicker atmosphere around the globe and shielding the harmful sun radiations. However, this strong gravity can turn out to be a boon. Harvard Professor Abraham Loeb and Michael Hippke, an independent researcher collaborating with the Sonneberg Observatory, published a paper that says, it would be hard for aliens to escape the gravitational pull of a super-earth planet. That is why aliens might be facing hard time blasting off from their home planet. However, if an alien life managed to evolve and develop technology to launch chemical fueled ships, Earthians might receive their signals and interact with them.
To launch an “Apollo moon mission-like” quest, a rocket on the super-earth would need a mass of about 440,000 tons just to adjust the fuel requirements. This means, aliens have to build a spaceship of the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. If a planet is twice the size and 10 times the mass of the Earth, its gravity would be twice as strong as the Earth. To launch one metric ton of load on the super-earth, the rocket should be at least three times the size of the Saturn V. In addition, if intellectual aliens could build a launch platform on high in the mountains, they can use less gravity to lift off rockets. However, larger planets tend to have smaller mountains as they usually collapse on their own due to the strong force of gravity.
The paper talks about alternative methods for aliens to successfully launch rocket toward the Earth. If super-earthlings somehow achieve rotary flight, they can fly their ships up in the skies and launch from there. In addition, if the super-earth is a water world, as scientists believe it is highly probable, aliens would be intellectual aquatic creatures. If they build something similar to ballistic missile to send rockets into the sky, they would be able to contact the Earth after all.
The authors believe, “Among all the options for a launch of a spaceship, chemical rocket launches seem plausible for super-earthians. On the worlds, where gravity is ten times of the Earth, a considerable fraction of the planet would need to be used up as a chemical fuel per launch.” The only feasible fuel that aliens could use is either nuclear or some material that human race is not aware of. Thus, for the time being, it can be said that super-earthians have a big battle against super-gravity before getting touch with humans. Till then, all researchers can do is to keep searching for habitable planets and hope for any signs from “E.T.”