In 1977, L. Stephen Wolfe and Roy L. Wysack published Handbook for Space Pioneers and conceived of the Galactic Association of Intelligent Life (GAIL). The book depicts how the Earth Branch of GAIL (GAILE), would manage the pioneering program of humankind to exoplanets that could sustain human life. At the time the book was published, astronomers had not discovered physical evidence of planets orbiting other stars.
In light of recent NASA discoveries of ‘extra solar systems’ and exoplanets in habitable zones as shown in Kepler Candidate Statistics, the authors of Handbook for Space Pioneers and creators of the “Galactic Association of Intelligent Life” (GAIL) have decided to re-publish Handbook for Space Pioneers online for free to share with those who want to visualize how exciting exoplanet colonization could be. We are naming this project the GAILE Exoplanet Pioneering Project, and are using the website GAILearth.com to be the place holder of our content and yours. We want to see this GAILearth.com site become a worldwide cooperative science fiction project where creative people can contribute their ideas about what life on exoplanets might be like when we get there.
To that end we need contributions from artists, engineers, architects, map-makers, 3D modelers, scientists, and writers who want to create life, living spaces, and natural environments that people might find on exoplanets. If you’d like to participate or just see what we’re creating, look at our ideas for settling exoplanets on this website, and send us yours!
We feel that this this is the perfect time to reintroduce our original ideas and solicit new ones. In 2018, NASA and MIT will use the new satellite system TESS, to pick up where the Kepler missions left off. TESS is expected to collect 10 times as much data during its two-year mission as Kepler did during its first two years. Read more about the TESS goal to find terrestrial planets in the habitable zones of nearby star systems here.
Hi, guys. Have been looking at the stars for the GAILE colony worlds and have found a possible glitch of sorts. Romulus/Remus are said to be in orbit of Upsilon Lupus approximately 58.2 ly from Earth. Looking up Upsilon in Wikipedia I find that Upsilon is actually 284 ly from Earth. Quite a ways outside the neighborhood for the rest of the colonies. So, I decided to see if there any other stars in the Lupus constellation that might fit the bill. Luckily there is a good candidate: Nu(2) Lupi ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nu2_Lupi ). It is also a G2V star and is only about 48ly from Earth which puts it back into the mix with the rest of your colony worlds. Bonus: in RL they have already discovered planets orbiting that star! Of course, you should feel free to disregard this if it does not fit into your plans for the Handbook. I only offer this data with the utmost respect and by no means intend it to be any sort of “gotcha”.
Alternately, there is Gliese 564 which is almost exactly the same distance from Earth as is listed in the original book for Upsilon and matches the G2V stellar class.
HI Rick, Sorry it took so long to get back with you. Steve and I have both been tied up on other projects. We will look into your discovery and appreciate your input. Per Aspera Ad Astra – Roy
I’m sorry it has taken so long to reply to your thoughtful comments. I have been bogged down with family problems and so haven’t logged into the GAILE site since last year.
You are correct that a star 284 light-years from earth would be too far out for Romulus and Remus. Something in the neighborhood of 50-70 light years would be better.
When we wrote the original “Handbook for Space Pioneers” there were already five designations for nearby starts: Johann Bayer, John Flamsteed, Yale Catalog of Bright Stars, Henry Draper, and the Gliese Catalogue of Nearby Stars. I chose the Bayer designations, which consist of the Latin name for the European constellations followed by a Greek letter, because I liked the sound of the names. In retrospect, it might have been wiser to choose the Yale or Henry Draper designations because they have more stars and are much newer. I don’t know if there have been recent corrections to distances of the starts in the Bayer catalog in the last 40 years. Maybe I just copied the number out of the book wrong. Today, we should probably use the US Naval Observatory catalogue.
The problem I see with using Nu2 Lupi for Romulus and Remus is that we already know it has three planets that are way too massive for human life. The furthest one, at .4 AU is also probably too hot for life as we know it. The problem with Gliese 564 is that it is a variable star with two brown dwarfs in its orbit. You can see how hard it is going to be to find habitable planets. What worries me most is that I’ll wake up one morning to learn that some astronomer has found a massive planet in the habitable zone of Alpha Centauri A.
Anyhow, I do agree that we need to revisit the selection of stars and how we designate them on the website. What’s known today is so much greater than what it was 35 years ago.
Here it is. This is a bare-bones version. Am working on a more detailed version. All thoughts, comments and corrections are welcome.
2040’s – International Council of Space Exploration (ICSE) formed.
2055 – Alpha Centauri Expedition leaves Earth.
2074 – Alpha Centauri Expedition returns with the announcement that the planet Wyzdom has been discovered.
Circa 2076 – Last major war on Earth.
2087 – Dr. Raymond Krauchunas publishes his Comprehensive Theory of Physics which lays the groundwork for practical FTL travel.
2091 – Second Survey of Wyzdom.
Circa 2096 – last major civil insurrection on Earth.
2112 – Starship Albert Einstein launched.
23 April 2114 – Fist colony ship leaves Earth for Wyzdom.
2122 – Wyzdom settled.
2124 – Harsh conditions at the Wyzdom Colony force Medhat Hadar to assume the role of absolute dictator to ensure survival of the colony.
2131 – The crisis having passed at Wyzdom, Hadar steps down as dictator and establishes a free, democratic government.
2153 – Poseidous discovered.
2177 – Poseidous settled.
2186 – Chou Loon establishes a stable government on Poseidous.
2198 – Brobdingnag discovered.
2214 Brobdingnag settled.
2217 – First Human-Ardotioan contact.
Circa 2227 – Human-Ardotion communications barrier broken.
2240 – Genesis discovered.
2245 – Jocelyn Hill born.
Circa 2247 – Human-Ardotion relations formalized.
2252 – Mammon discovered.
2270 – Joint Human-Ardotian research team, expanding on the work of Krauchunas, publishes The Unified Field Theory.
2284 – Genesis settled.
– First controlled matter/anti-matter reaction.
2291 – Ardotian probe discovers the Chlorzi.
2305 – Jocelyn Hill proposes rare earths mining on Mammon.
2306 – Indira Hodara born.
2310 – Yom discovered.
2312 – Ezra Lilly born.
2314-17 – The McGillicuddy Expedition surveys Yom and discovers the Trups.
2314 – Earle Horne born.
2315 – Francoise Patreau born.
2318 – Lilly family decides to emigrate to Mammon.
2318 – Mammon settled.
2319 – George Soonge born.
2319 – Yom Inter-species Study Project begins.
Mining of rare earths begins on Mammon.
James Colligan born.
2321 – Exportation of rare earths from Mammon begins.
2323 – James Colligan born.
2324 – Meagin Kearin born.
2325 – Soonge family estate moves to present site.
2326 – First contact with the Egrinti.
– Human settlement of Yom authorized.
2331 – First settlers arrive on Yom.
– Earle Horne begins studies at Ward Institute of Technology.
2333 – Alex Kotorovich born.
2334 – Indira Hodara moves her family to Yom.
2335 – Earle Horne graduates from WIT.
2338 – Earle Horne begins work on his ranch.
2341 – Aristotle Chianakis born.
Meagin Kearin begins at university.
Marie Patreau born.
2342 – Discovery of Romulus.
2344 – Collette Patreau born.
2346 – Kotorovich family moves to New Georgia.
2348 – Detailed survey maps of Romulus published.
Trade begins between Mammon Metals Corp. and the Ardotian government.
Cheryl Cooper born.
2349 – Meagin Kearin graduates from university.
2350 – Remusan Study Project begins.
2355 – Mark VIII Primary Soil Preparation Combine introduced.
2356 – Meagin Kearin assigned to Advanced Studies Group.
2357 – Francoise Patereau decides to leave Earth.
2360 – Romulus settled.
Indira Hodara helps in the founding of the first university on Yom.
2362 – The Matthew Obo Orbiting Laboratory built over Remus.
2363 – Meagin Kearin publishes A Deterministic Model of Darwin’s Theory.
2365 – Athena discovered.
James Colligan promoted to the rank of Captain.
Darwin Institute established on Genesis.
Joecelyn Hill goes to Mammon.
2367 – First contact with the Minutae.
Joecelyn Hill dies.
2368 – Artificial structures discovered on Athena.
2369 – Detailed survey maps of Athena published.
2370 – Meagin Kearin becomes Director of the Darwin Institute.
2372 – Reforma settled on Romulus.
2376 – “Present Day” in the book.
2380 – First colonist scheduled to settle on Athena.
There’s a timeline starting in 1985 in the Book Of Predictions, published in 1981. How would you feel about those dates being included? It effectively makes this setting an alternate timeline rather than a possible future, which is why I’m not sure about it.
Oh that darned “Book of Predictions!” I sure got lot of stuff wrong. It would be okay to start with the time line from 2030 onward. But even there I see some minor problems.
Finding this website has totally made my day! Have loved this book since I was sixteen years old and it first appeared. Still have my original copy (a bit worse for wear).
I would be interested in contributing to this project. Not much of an artist, but I do like to write. I have complied a timeline of the history outlined in the book and would be happy to pass that along if you think there’d be use for it.
We would very much like to see your timeline. Thank you for offering to contribute.
Should I post it here, or is there an email address it should be sent to?
It would probably best to send the timeline to email@example.com