When do humans make contact with another civilization?
Funny you should ask...
2360 to 2379
2361. The luminous surfacres of three centuries ago are coming to an end, thanks to femtotechnology. By this year, it is no longer neccesary to have any special surface devoted to lighting. Instead, anything can be turned luminous on a whim to provide a light source, even parts of one's own body or the air itself. Basically, the light comes from whereever one wants it to come from.
2362. Inspired by the terraforming successes already seen this milennium, a mass-terraforming initiative begins on not one world, but five: Mercury, Europa, Callisto, Titan, and the Alpha Centauri planet Apollo. In previous centuries, such a project would have been impossible, costing more than the available resources of humanity. But now, with terraforming science refined and the wealth of humanity orders of magnitude greater, it can be done, and the only difficult part is time.
2364. Power generation from microscopic black holes is successfully demonstrated for the first time. There are several ways to do this, such as feeding particles into the black holes and harnessing the resulting radiation, or colliding them together. Black holes, unlike antimatter tend to be a very stable, very long-lived power source if used correctly, and their widespread adoption could potentially boost human civilization up quite a bit on the Kardashev Scale.
2367. Instantaneous power transmission is first demonstrated in the laboratory through a procedure known as Quantum Energy Transmission. This is yet another breakthrough made possible by quantum entanglement, though one that wasn't exactly known to be possible until about fifty years ago. Except it is not transmitting information between particles; it is transmitting energy.
2370. Colonization of the planet Oxsheni begins. 84 light years from Sol, it is the third planet of the white star HD 142, nestled between HD 142 b and c in the habitable zone. A barren, rocky continent covers most of the northern hemisphere, while water covers most of the southern hemisphere. Despite the lack of complex life on land, there is plenty in the oceans. But neither is the main reason why the planet is notable: the colonists almost instantly notice the ruins of a coastal and aquatic civilization, on the technological level of about our 2050. It appears that an intelligent octopus-like creature developed civilizations around the planet's many hydrothermal vents (they must have been for early Oxshenians like river valleys were for early humans), using their heat to develop in the lieu of fire, and eventually industrialized and colonized much of the ocean and even the coast. Oxsheni's single moon also had a base (where Oxshenians survived almost a century after their counterparts on their homeworld died out), but interplanetary travel had not yet been developed when they went extinct. The nature of these aliens is shocking to most people, who were (conciously or unconsiously) expecting the first aliens to be humanoid, or at least bipedal, warm-blooded vertebrates.
2371. Further investigation has been conducted into the nature of the Oxshenians, even as humans are beginning to make themselves comfortable on the Continent. Tens of thousands of colonists and even tourists are flocking to see the alien ruins for themselves. Fortunately, the aliens had a written language, which the top linguists and their AIs have gained a very rough understanding of after more than a year of study. Archaeologists have made submarine expeditions to the hydrothermal vent cities—where most of the main scientific, economic, and cultural centers were located. Most cities were arranged in a circular fashion along the ocean floor. The area directly surrounding a city's hydrothermal vent was generally but not always set aside as a place of worship (the Oxshenian word for "hydrothermal vent" literally means "breath of a god"). And at last a dark explanation is found for the Oxshenians' extinction: for thousands of years, the relations between the two major Oxshenian races were tense, and in our 1860s and 1870s, they erupted into an apocalyptic nanoweapon conflict—they never invented nukes—that rendered the species extinct by 1890, except for their moon base.
2372. Developments in wormhole generation allow for safer and more stable wormholes. This means that it is safe to set up wormholes even (relatively) close to planets, instead of placing them at inconvenient locations in the outer reaches of a solar system. Many older wormholes in the ISWN are reconstructed so that people in the Sol system and Zone 1 systems can take advantage of it. This cuts travel time significantly.
2373. What might have simply been a chilling reminder of the Great Filter and the luck of Homo sapiens becomes something else entirely when a group of colonists on Oxsheni stumble across a secret underground facility hundreds of miles inland. Upon investigation, it is found to contain dozens of cryopreserved Oxshenian children dated to 1887 by Terran standards. At once, an uproar begins and the citizens of the Interplanetary Republic argue for months over whether or not to revive them. Meanwhile, it is finally possible to directly analyze the aliens. Superficially, they resemble dark blue octopuses with nine tentacles, three eyes, and a beak in their center mass. However, their tentacles are far stronger than any Terran octopus—strong enough to stand on, albeit not very well; the strongest could maybe drag themselves overland for a mile or so—and their internal anatomy is quite alien, as is their biochemistry; they are carbon-based, but have a hitherto-unobserved nucleic acid, and not DNA like Terran life. The males are also capable of bioluminescing from adolescence onward; evidently the species' ancestors evolved this as a method of attracting mates.
2374. It's decided that the Oxshenians will be revived in a newly constructed artificial lake 50 miles from the coast, where they will be unable to cause much harm if they turn out to be dangerous. They are then revived, allowing humans to talk to advanced aliens for the first time ever. The Oxshenians, despite their gratitude, are pretty stunned to have been rescued by grotesque creatures that have only four limbs and somehow managed to evolve on land.
2375. The Contact Generation begins, so named for it being the time of first contact with the Oxshenians; indeed it even includes the revived Oxshenians. It lasts from 2375 to 2410. This is the last generation I'm including on this timeline, because they're not all that interesting.
2375. The Interplanetary Republic has now existed for a quarter of a millennium, and in the past century or so has grown into a mature and stable entity, with a century and a quarter of unprecedented peace and prosperity. The IPC now consists of 105 people. Only 15 are Terrans, and 27 come from worlds orbiting other stars.
2379. 100 million people now live beyond the Sol system, with the most distant ones being around 88 to 90 light years from Sol. More than forty solar systems and sixty-plus worlds beyond Sol have now been colonized by humans.
please start tracking the lifespan of the average human again and talk a bit more about fivr tech
I talk about average lifespan at each century-recap since it's more of a trend than something that can have dates attached to it. I'll probably mention the first person to live X hundred years a few more times (first tricentarian shows up in the early 25th century). As for FIVR, well...it's perfected. Not much more to be done technologically. QCDL on the other hand still has some progress to be made.
Edited by Jakob, 28 February 2016 - 02:18 AM.