2 February 2343
Transmissions received from an FTL (faster-than-light) probe from the Nu2 Lupi system reveal the existence of a double-planet system, both planets of which are capable of habitation by humans. The double-planet system was discovered by the crew of the starship Kara, which will remain on station in the system for two more years.
Double-planets, two nearly equal spherical bodies orbiting one another, are extremely rare. Having a double-planet system in the human-habitable zone is even more extraordinary. It gives not only physical astronomers but also climatologists, biologists, and geologists a unique opportunity to study parallel developments on two worlds formed at the same time under nearly identical conditions. Scientists from not only GAIL Earth Branch but all other members of the Galactic Association are expected to organize scientific expeditions to the twin system.
Although the scientific benefits of this discovery can scarcely be overestimated, it seems unlikely that either of the twin planets will be eligible for settlement because of GAIL’s “non-interference policy.” One of the twin planets is populated by humanoids whose culture resembles that of Earth at around 1,000 cetc. Although the other planet in the system has no such species, it is debatable whether it could be settled by pioneers from earth because of the risks of cultural interference. With today’s technology, humans could travel between the two planets in just a few hours.
Years of scientific study of the twin-planet cultures will doubtless precede years of debate within the GAIL organization before a final decision about settlement is made. And if Earth settlers are allowed on the uninhabited planet, strict safeguards to prevent cultural contamination will almost certainly be required.
Captain Tshuappa Lomela of the Kara recommends naming the twin planets Romulus and Remus, the mythical twin founders of the Roman Empire who were said to have been nursed by wolves. The location of the planets in the constellation Lupus (Latin for wolf) makes the appellation appropriate, Captain Lomela said in a video. But given the intense political and cultural sensitivity of his crew’s discovery, even that decision isn’t likely to be made for years. Follow this link for additional information about the twin planets.
Diagram of the double planet in the Nu2 Lupi system.