According to the journal Nature, the Milky Way Galaxy alone contains at least 100 billion planets.
Now forgive me if I sound excited...but that is huge.
After all, just 20 years ago, astronomers still widel y believed that our own tiny solar system contained allof the major planets.
So when I talk about how we are entering an Era of Radical Change, this is exactly what I'm talking about.
It's not about tiny incremental changes but gigantic shifts in thought.
And here is something else to ponder...
With all of this new data, scientists now believe the universe may contain more than 150 billion galaxies. The math is enough to make your head spin.
How Nuclear-Powered Robots Are Winning the New Space RaceAll this brings to mind one key point: The odds that we are alone in the universe grow smaller and smaller every day.
That puts us on the cusp of a New Space Race - one that will undoubtedly favor robots.
That's why I think NASA's new Spidernaut is such an important piece of technology. It's an eight-legged robot that looks like it crawled right out of a sci-fi movie.
NASA plans to use these robots to help construct a new generation of space-science platforms that are so large and fragile they'll have to be built in orbit.
As it turns out, spiders are really nimble creatures. NASA designed the prototype arachnid robot to have the grace and weight distribution of real spiders.
If the technology works as planned, these giant spider robots would crawl across a "web" of space tethers so as not to damage delicate equipment.
Now how cool is that?...
It all goes to show you that despite the soft global economy and budget cuts, we've actually never had more interest in space exploration.
But this time it's not just the United States and Russia. Indeed, China, India and Japan are also funding major programs.