Out of the multitude of exoplanets that we've discovered, what are the odds that a few of them host civilizations capable of rocket-powered spaceflight? How can we even begin to answer such a question? Just how hard is it to launch a rocket, anyway? Learn a bit about how rockets work here on and around Earth, and see if we can’t figure out how difficult it would be for potential inhabitants of some recently-discovered exoplanets to launch their own rockets.
Tim is a rocket scientist with an MS in Aerospace Engineering and Bioastronautics from the University of Colorado. He spends his days designing systems to keep people alive in space, and some of his evenings and weekends tutoring high school students and selling space travel supplies at 826 Seattle.