Science might be as little as two years away from the discovery of extraterrestrial life, but the world is not ready to handle the reality, a NASA chief scientist told U.K.'s The Telegraph.
"It will be revolutionary," Dr. Jim Green told the Telegraph. "It's like when Copernicus stated 'no we go around the Sun.' Completely revolutionary. It will start a whole new line of thinking. I don't think we're prepared for the results. We're not.
"I've been worried about that because I think we're close to finding it, and making some announcements.
"What happens next is a whole new set of scientific questions. Is that life like us? How are we related? Can life move from planet-to-planet or do we have a spark and just the right environment and that spark generates life – like us or not like us – based on the chemical environment that it is in?"
Green works on the missions NASA and the European Space Agency will begin next summer, traveling to Mars, drilling into rocks and the surface in search for life, according to the report.
"They're all going at the same time, because it's when the window opens," Dr. Green told the paper. "It's like rush hour to Mars, but that's when the alignment of the planets is just right and we can get there as fast as possible, not chase Mars around the Sun."
Europe's ExoMars rover and NASA's Mars2020 rover will take the samples that will be tested, which could reveal life as soon as 2021, per the report.
"I'm excited about these missions because they have the opportunity to find life, they really do, and I want them to," Dr. Green told The Telegraph. "We've never drilled that deep down. When environments get extreme life moves into the rocks.
"When we first started the field of astrobiology in the 90s we started looking for extreme life. We go down in mines two miles deep into the Earth and if they were weeping with water they were full of life.
"We have gone in nuclear cesspools, places where you'd think nothing could survive, and they are full of life. And the bottom line is where there is water there is life.
"In fact, because the crust has so much water in it, we now know that there is more life below our feet than on the surface of this Earth including life in the ocean."
Latest computer modeling has suggest Venus might have held water for billions of years, per the report.
"This concept of what a 'Goldilocks Zone' looks like has to be modified," Dr. Green told the paper. "Venus was a blue planet for a significant amount of time. There is no reason to think that there isn't civilizations elsewhere, because we are finding exoplanets all over the place.
"We now know from Kepler observations that there are more planets in the galaxy than there are stars."
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.