NASA Scientists Claim We'll Discover Alien Life By 2025

Wednesday, 08 April 2015 - 11:05AM
Space
Astrobiology
Alien Life
Wednesday, 08 April 2015 - 11:05AM
NASA Scientists Claim We'll Discover Alien Life By 2025
If NASA chief scientist, Ellen Stofan, is to be believed (which she probably is), humanity will have found evidence of the existence of alien life within the next 10 years.

"I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years," said Stofan.

That may seem like a bold claim, but Stofan's stance is simply representative of the overwhelming confidence that the scientific community possesses when it comes to the possibility of finding extraterrestrial life. As Stofan goes on to say, that confidence has come from a few monumental leaps forward in technology and techniques.

"We know where to look. We know how to look," said Stofan during a webcasted panel on NASA's hunt for alien life. "In most cases we have the technology, and we're on a path to implementing it. And so I think we're definitely on the road."

In recent years, technologies such as the Kepler Space Telescope and the Mars Curiosity Rover have helped further the notion that, not only are habitable planets common, but there may even be planetary bodies within our solar system that are capable of hosting alien life. Satellites such as Enceladus, Ganymede, and Europa have all been found to possess significant bodies of liquid water, boosting hopes that some form of alien life could exist beneath their respective icy crusts. Combine that with the increasing level of evidence that Mars once played host to microbial life, and it's not hard to see why some of NASA's top scientists are feeling so confident that alien life will be discovered within a generation.

During the same panel, Stofan's views were backed up by associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, John Grunsfeld. "I think we're one generation away in our solar system, whether it's on an icy moon or on Mars, and one generation on a planet around a nearby star," said the former astronaut.

This all means that there has been a titanic shift in thinking about our galaxy and the worlds that exist within it. Over the last few decades humanity has moved from not being able to confirm the existence of planets outside of our solar system, to possessing the knowledge that our galaxy is most likely host to billions of exoplanets, many of which orbit within the 'habitable zone' of their host stars. But as Grunsfeld said, it is the new developments within our own solar system that are the most exciting. With NASA currently in the process of planning a mission to Jupiter's icy moon, Europa, it could be that the next 10-30 years will be the biggest the field of astrobiology has ever seen.
Science
NASA
Space
Astrobiology
Alien Life

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