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Abstract

Introduction. The future of humanity depends on its ability to explore and colonize new worlds, either in the Solar system or even beyond, in exostar systems with habitable exoplanets. Purpose. The objective of this paper is to explore different (hypothetical) technological scenarios and what the circumstances of each scenario mean to the possible exploration and colonization efforts to be carried out. Design and development of experiments. Experiments using simulation have been designed in order to try to determine the number of alien civilizations we may encounter in our exploration and colonization efforts as well as the likelihood of such occurrence happening. Main outcomes. If only conventional rocket-like thrusting is achievable, we will hardly be able to colonize some planets and moons in the Solar system; if Einstein-like space-jumping is possible, we will be able to easily colonize our Solar system, but hardly other star systems; and if wormhole-like space jumping is possible, there are no limits to what humanity will eventually be able to achieve in its interstellar exploration and colonization efforts within the Milky Way Galaxy. Results. It is very unlikely that we will find alien civilizations in our exploration and colonization efforts. It is even possible that at the moment humanity is the only “advanced technological” civilization in the Milky Way galaxy. Conclusion. The main obstacles in humanity’s exploration and colonization efforts are our own efforts and technology, rather than the possible existence of alien civilizations that could threaten us.

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