By the start of the 21st century, dozens of extrasolar planets had been identified. The first images of such planets, super-Jovian bodies at Barnard's Star, were made early in the century. Soon similar bodies had been imaged in other nearby systems. Smaller, rocky bodies were later discovered in many systems as the experimental resolution increased.
In 2067 the Galileo Lunar Observatory detected ozone, nitrogen and water vapour in the spectrum of the third planet of Alpha Centauri A. It was rapidly realised that this implied that life existed on that world. This discovery led to a major programme of spectroscopic observations aimed at finding other life-bearing worlds.
Within a decade the spectra of planets out as far as 33ly were soon taken. In all thirteen Earth-like worlds were discovered. The UNSA SETI Project was formed to attempt to 'listen in' to any possible communication taking place on these worlds. None was discovered: it seemed that life was common, but technology was comparatively rare.
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The future of Ad Astra