A high-ranking scientist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has predicted that human beings will find signs of alien life by 2025.
“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,” The Independent quoted NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan as saying on Wednesday.
According to NASA, such discoveries may even occur in our own solar system.
“We know where to look. We know how to look,” added Stofan during a panel discussion focused on the agency’s efforts in the search for habitable worlds and alien life on Tuesday.
“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.”
Associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, John Grunsfeld, who was also present at the panel, said that life will be found in the near future in our own solar system and other systems.
“I think we’re one generation away in our solar system, whether it’s on an icy moon or on Mars, and one generation [away] on a planet around a nearby star,” said Grunsfeld.
Recent NASA discoveries
Liquid water has been discovered underneath the frozen surfaces of the Jupiter’s moons Europa and Ganymede, and also on the Saturn’s moon Enceladus.
In the ancient past, Mars’s surface was covered with vast oceans, and dark streaks seen today on its surface may have been caused by the flow of salty water.
On the planet’s surface, NASA’s Curiosity rover has discovered carbon-containing organic molecules and “fixed” nitrogen, which are the basic ingredients required for similar life to that on Earth.
Also, based on NASA’s Kepler space telescope’s observations, suggestions have been made that almost every star in the sky hosts planets which may be habitable.
“Once we get out beyond Mars, the likelihood that it’s similar to Earth because we share that material gets very, very low,” Grunsfeld said. “And I think that’s where it starts getting exceptionally exciting.”
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