In a shocking news to the world and for the first time opening up itself on alien life or UFO or extra-terrestrials, US space agency NASA said the humans are likely to witness the first signs of alien life in the next 10 years.
It was revealed in a panel discussion on the space agency’s search for habitable worlds and alien life. NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said: “I think 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.”
She further sounded confident about something already known to the NASA community when she said, “We know where to look. We know how to look. In most cases, we have the technology, and we are on a path to implementing it. And so I think we’re definitely on the road.”
It was known for quite sometime that there are earth-like planets in plenty out in the space, the solar system and broader Milky Way galaxy.
Latest one instance is that oceans of liquid water slosh beneath the icy shells of the Jupiter moons Europa and Ganymede, as well as that of the Saturn satellite Enceladus.
“Oceans covered much of Mars in the ancient past, and seasonal dark streaks observed on the Red Planet’s surface today may be caused by salty flowing water,” Stofan added.
She has chaired committees including the National Research Council Inner Planets Panel for the recent Planetary Science Decadal Survey and the Venus Exploration Analysis Group.
NASA’s Curiosity rover has found carbon-containing organic molecules and “fixed” nitrogen, basic ingredients necessary for Earth-like life on the Martian surface, to cite some examples.
NASA’s Kepler space telescope has found that almost every star in the sky has planets, which are habitable and earth-like to a greater extent to give scope for some organism to live and thrive on its surface or beneath the surface.
“We can see water in the interstellar clouds from which planetary systems and stellar systems form. We can see water in the disks of debris that are going to become planetary systems around other stars,” said Paul Hertz, director of the Astrophysics Division of NASA.
The US space agency is planning to launch its next Mars rover in 2020 with the precise goal to search for signs of past life on Mars and cache samples for a possible return to Earth for analysis.
This will help NASA plan its next manned mission to Mars sometime in the 2030s. Its other missions include one to Jupiter’s moon Europa in 2022.
“I think we are one generation away in our solar system, whether it is on an icy moon or on Mars, and one generation (away) on a planet around a nearby star,” said John Grunsfeld, ex-astronaut and now an associate with NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.