Alien life has long been a subject of debate and numerous Hollywood films. However, with recent statements from various NASA scientists, the centuries-long argument might possibly be put to a close.
In a panel discussion last Tuesday, NASA’s chief scientist, Ellen Stofan, revealed information that shook the human race.
“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.”
Stofan also asserted that they are “definitely on the road.” Geared with cutting edge technology, NASA experts are already on the “path” to putting these tools to use. According to Stofan, “We know where to look. We know how to look.”
NASA’s chief also emphasized one important detail. She pointed out that they are not expecting to discover little green men like those depicted in sci fi movies. Instead, these said “aliens” are anticipated to be in microscopic form. “We are talking about little microbes,” she reiterated.
Other members of the panel also agreed with the chief’s statement. NASA’s interim director of Heliophysics, Jeffrey Newmark, spoke out with complete certainty regarding alien life. “It’s definitely not an if, it’s a when,” he said.
Former astronaut John Grunsfeld also supported Stofan’s prediction and gave his own forecast.
“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.”
Grunsfeld’s claim is based on recent scientific discoveries made by NASA. The latest studies suggest that the solar system and other galaxies in the Milky Way are filled with environments that are capable of supporting life.
In the solar system, some planets have satellites where liquid water exists. Large deposits of water lie beneath the icy surface of Jupiter’s moons Europa and Ganymede. Saturn’s Enceladus also displays the same features.
Another celestial neighbor that has NASA’s attention is Mars. According to discoveries made over the years, the said planet might have been filled with salty flowing water during ancient times. Moreover, NASA has also discovered some life-supporting elements on its surface. On an expedition, NASA’s Curiosity rover was able to obtain samples carrying carbon-containing organic molecules and “fixed” nitrogen. Both are key ingredients for Earth-like life.
The panel discussion focused on NASA’s efforts to discover livable worlds and alien life. It is available in live webcast.
[Image via Getty images]