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NASA Scientist: 'Definitive Evidence' of Alien Life Within 30 Years

By    |   Tuesday, 07 April 2015 10:36 PM

Hard evidence of alien life could be discovered "within 20 to 30 years," according to top NASA scientists.

A Space.com report details the scientists' predictions, which were revealed during a panel discussion on Tuesday.

"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," NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said, according to the report.

"We know where to look. We know how to look. 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."

John Grunsfeld, a former astronaut and now the associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, echoed Stofan's statement during the discussion.

"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," Grunsfeld said.

Backing up these claims are discoveries of organic molecules on Mars containing carbon and nitrogen, which support life. And other celestial bodies, such as Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede, have water underneath a sheet of ice that covers their surface, according to the Space.com report.

Outside of our solar system, scientists say, are countless stars that could host planets just as the Earth revolves around the Sun.

Calling the Milky Way Galaxy "a soggy place," Paul Hertz, director of NASA's Astrophysics Division, said, "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, and we can even see comets being dissipated in other solar systems as [their] star evaporates them."

NASA's Opportunity rover has been exploring Mars since it landed on the Red Planet in 2004.

Another Mars rover is scheduled to launch in 2020, while NASA has said it wants to place astronauts on Mars sometime in the 2030s. Further, a mission to Europa could launch in 2022.

A report last week detailed strange radio bursts from somewhere in space that have been discovered, leading some people to believe alien life was responsible.

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Hard evidence of alien life could be discovered "within 20 to 30 years," according to top NASA scientists.
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Tuesday, 07 April 2015 10:36 PM
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