There never was a great gig in the sky, this is all we have folks. One time to blow, do not let go until you are sure we have enough propellant to get the DNA encoded microspray** right. As it moves outward from the earth and spaces into the hundreds, then thousands of miles between microbead.... there is no knowing when (or if) one will hit terra firma.
But we do know that when it does, the nanochip*** inside will take measurements, and decode which DNA strands or (more likely) chemicals are most likely to produce a reaction of the type necessary for life to kick into gear. Enzymes, then bacteria, then protozoa, I think that is the progression we know of.
Then.... who knows, within a million years, if the universe has not curved back**** into itself, new life patterns will emerge. Only they won't be life as we humans would perceive it. They will be in different frequencies altogether. Well, imagine your mind going back several aeons (lizard brain, even earlier).
This is a little clue for you about EVEN, my novel set 150 years in the future. A future in which the human species has somehow survived and (apparently) rebalanced with the ecosystem.
I would tell you more but Arisugawa Park is my current project and I don't want to have to off you (yeah, it is a thriller).
Actually, I have realized that Ari Park can become a way of kind of commentating on what is going on: Bernie (who will win), faux boy Trump, and Clinton, whom I (sorta) like. She used to be a Buffalo Springfield fan, I don't know how you go from early Neil Young to late-70s Fleetwood Mac (and worse), but I'm trying to understand.*****
Back to the topic du jour: here are two major questions we face as we realize we are capable with 94% certainty of creating a transportable subsoil for extraterrestrial life to flourish in the time remaining before the earth becomes uninhabitable and we go extinct (shit, major EVEN spoiler).
1. Do we want to invest the money into creating this technology or do we want to invest the time, money, and human capital (fabric) toward having a chance of preserving the ecosystem within a habitable temperature band?
2. Do we want to actually spread life into the universe?
Take that philosophic conundrum for what it is.******
* Not sure if Hawking meant human life at the cryogenically frozen, sperm and egg, or even a more basic combinant (DNA) level. If he meant the latter, we have a narrow band of convergence, although I really think the chemical level is more likely to be successful. Finding an atmosphere capable of supporting primate (much less any type of flora or fauna, as it exists on Earth) may be surprisingly difficult.
** I see the dispersal method as being akin to crop seeding, but letting orbit do the heavy lifting. The nano-capsules (liquid-suspended?) would be released from a satellite in space as millions of microbeads, in a fine mist of nano-spaceships.
*** The nanochip will only turn "on" on impact, using some corollary technology to solar cells (life as we know it is not likely to exist without some sort of sun). It will then perform rudimentary calculations about temp, pressure, and density, that allow it to combine the chemicals most likely to create a chain capable of survival on that planet's atmosphere. Now, is Pluto a planet? Would an asteroid in orbit be capable of enabling life to spread? Could life exist within a comet? This is where we really step into the unknown.
**** Big Bang Theory
***** Not to mention the shit happening with ISIS right now. North Korea and its endless parade of nuclear tests.
****** Naturally, if this microbead life propagation method is humanly conceivable, then it is very possible that we are a manifestation of a similarly conceived life-seeding program. In which case (big sigh of relief) everything is gonna be alright.