NASA Launches Ambitious New Alien-Hunting Initiative

Wednesday, 22 April 2015 - 4:23PM
Space
Astrobiology
Alien Life
Wednesday, 22 April 2015 - 4:23PM
NASA Launches Ambitious New Alien-Hunting Initiative
A few weeks ago, NASA's chief scientist Eileen Stofan made headlines when she claimed that humanity will find alien life within the next 20 to 30 years. Now, NASA is kicking that search into gear, as it has just commenced an ambitious interdisciplinary program exclusively that combines scientific fields such as astrophysics, geology, and astrobiology in order to find exoplanets and, potentially, alien life.

"This interdisciplinary endeavor connects top research teams and provides a synthesized approach in the search for planets with the greatest potential for signs of life," said Jim Green, NASA's Director of Planetary Science. "The hunt for exoplanets is not only a priority for astronomers, it's of keen interest to planetary and climate scientists as well."

The program, called Nexus for Exoplanet System Science ("NExSS") will draw from each of NASA's scientific communities in order to optimize the search for life on other planets. Geologists and other Earth scientists will glean relevant data from our home planet, which planetary scientists can then apply to other planets in our solar system. Heliophysicists will study the ways in which the sun interacts with orbiting planets, while astrophysicists will then study different solar systems and apply all of these frameworks.

NASA said in a statement, "NExSS will bring together these prominent research communities in an unprecedented collaboration, to share their perspectives, research results, and approaches in the pursuit of one of humanity's deepest questions: Are we alone?"

Via Io9.
Science
NASA
Space
Astrobiology
Alien Life

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