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starship-design: Re: Aliens


>No race can "magically" transition from chemical fueled rockets to
>stealthy space warp drives instantly. There should be a gradual development 
>through a range of different technologies, SOME of which should yield energy 
>signatures which we can detect at great distances.

What signatures? Even our fusion designs that accelerate upto 0.5c radiate
less than 1/1,000,000,000 the power of the Sun. And to be frank, we probably
will only do a fusion design if we become really desperate to go to the stars.

Besides this, the timespan the transition may take, is likely to be short
compared to the time we have been looking more critical to the heavens.

And assuming that there are aliens going back and forth, they are likely to
have something like the "Federation of United Planets", where they will
invite every advanced civilisation that is ready to join them. Joining
probably means that certain scientific data is given to the new members.
This will decrease the timespan of development even more.

>You seem to be thinking biocontamination as in local here on Earth. I meant in
>the broader sense of interstellar.

I thought we were talking about "noticable traces". I wonder how we could
have noticed biocontamination somewhere else than on Earth.