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Intelligent Aliens and ‘Other Life In The Universe Is A Given,’ Says Ex-NASA Commander of the ISS

A former NASA commander of the International Space Station has publicly stated that alien life exists in the universe, it is prevalent, and there are intelligent aliens among the stars. In fact, he says that the abundance of evidence of life’s building blocks and water just in the Solar System alone makes the existence of alien life a “given.”

The Daily Express reported last week that the ex-commander of the International Space Station (ISS), Dr. Leroy Chiao, spoke at the University of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, and delivered his thoughts on the topic of extraterrestrial life, something he said he spent months contemplating while in space. And it was in relatively recent discoveries that left him in no doubt that aliens exist. We’ve yet to find them (or vice versa).

Chiao said the discovery of water on one of Saturn’s moons (Enceladus) and amino acids on comets (67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko) was the clincher.

“To find this kind of evidence of life in our own backyard means to me the idea there’s other life in the universe is pretty much a given.”

Dr. Chiao paid homage to the Fermi Paradox, the idea that with all the evidence that points to there being extraterrestrial life in the cosmos, there is yet to be found definitive proof that aliens exist. And although there are numerous reasons that aliens — including intelligent aliens — have yet to be detected (from they actually do not exist to the idea of the Great Filter, which basically posits that intelligent life reaches a tipping point of technological progress that inevitably leads to self-destruction), Chiao admitted he thinks first contact has not been made is due to the vast distances separating stars and their worlds from each other.

“I think there’s all kinds of life out there, including intelligent life, but the reason we haven’t found each other is because of vast distances.”

ISS Commander Leroy Chiao
Dr. Leroy Chiao, NASA commander of the 10th mission to the International Space Station. [Image by Mikhail Metzel/AP Images]

Dr. Leroy Chiao was the ISS commander and NASA Science Officer during the 10th mission of the ISS, according to his NASA biography. He oversaw operations for six-and-a-half months in 2004-2005, and he was the first Asian-American and ethnic Chinese Mission Commander of the station. While aboard, he also conducted 20 science experiments and performed two space walks.

Prior to his commanding the ISS, Chiao participated in three separate shuttle missions.

Of course, Chiao is hardly alone in his firm belief — even among astronauts and NASA scientists — that alien life exists, and it is just a matter of time until humanity makes first contact.

In 2015, several NASA scientists went on record, CBS News reported at the time, in predicting aliens would be found within the next few decades.

“I’m going to say we are going to have strong indications of life beyond earth within a decade and I think we are going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years,” Ellen Stofan, NASA’s chief scientist, said at a lecture.

At the same event, Jeff Newmark, NASA’s interim director of heliophysics, insisted it was a matter of “when, not if” for the discovery of extraterrestrial life.

Abstract of microbes as alien life
Thus far, complex forms of living organisms have not been detected, leading experts to suggest that the first aliens humanity encounters may be microbial. [Image by Alexey Godzenko/Shutterstock]

Among the many theories and discoveries of late that point to at least the potential for life to emerge in our Solar System, recent research has led to the possibility of microbial life forming and surviving in the heated atmosphere of Venus and produced the findings of one study that notes certain Earth microbes have shown the capacity to survive the harsh and austere atmospheric pressures on Mars (leading scientists to posit that if here, then there). And even more recently, several indentations in the surface of Mars has prompted scientists to actively consider that life on the Red Planet could very well exist in subsurface cavernous areas.

[Featured Image by diversepixel/Shutterstock]

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