Defunct SETI Project May Resume Search for E.T.

Paul Lilly

You might be familiar with SETI@home , a distributed computing project launched by the University of California, Berkeley over a decade ago in which you can help participate in the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Some SETI@home users were bummed when the SETI Institute announced back in April of this year that the Allen Telescope Array was being forced into hibernation due to budget cuts and lack of funds. Thanks to hundreds of thousands of dollar in contributions, the search for alien life is set to resume in September.

According to Reuters , the $30 million radio telescope array will wake from hibernation next month thanks to more than $200,000 in donations the SETI Institute managed to raise from over 2,400 donors, with actress Jodie Foster and Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders among those who contributed to the project. Combined with an unspecified amount of expected funds from the U.S. Air Force, the project will continue to run at least through the end of the year.

It should be noted that SETI@home operates independently from the SETI Institute and doesn't receive any funding or data from the Mountain View facility, so it was never really affected in the first place, at least not directly. It was still a mental blow, however, and we suspect news of the ATA's awakening will be well received by SETI@home users.

Shameless plug time. For those of you intrigued by distributed computing but care not for alien lifeforms, check out Stanford's Folding@home project. Folding@home studies protein folding linked with diseases, such as Alzheimer's ALS, Parkinson's, and others. Learn more here and consider this an open invitation to join Team Maximum PC (Team 11108).

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