His obituary appeared in the New York Times the same day as Moon Landrieu's who was also 92. Coincidence or planetary alignment?
Drake was convinced that human beings would eventually connect with extraterrestrials, and he inspired others to share that belief.
(NYTimes)Frank Drake speaking in 2008. “At this very minute, with almost absolute certainty, radio waves sent forth by other intelligent civilizations are falling on the earth,” he said.
Frank Drake, who pointed a radio telescope at a pair of stars in 1960 hoping to find alien civilizations and thus kindled a continuing endeavor called the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, died on Friday at his home in Aptos, Calif. He was 92.
His death was confirmed by his daughter Nadia Drake, a science journalist, and by the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he was an emeritus professor and a former dean of science.
“Frank inspired millions of Earthlings, including me, to think about the question ‘Is Anybody Out There?’” said Dan Werthimer, a longtime SETI researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. He added, “If Earthlings ever find ET, we’ll have Frank to thank.”
Among his achievements was the development of the Drake Equation, which continues to be used to estimate the number of advanced civilizations in the galaxy.