Tags: ellen stofan | nasa | alien | life

Ellen Stofan, NASA Chief Scientist, Predicts Finding Signs of Alien Life by 2025

By    |   Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 07:55 PM

NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said Tuesday that the search for alien life may bear fruit within the next decade.

"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 said. "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.”

Stofan made the prediction during a panel discussion about NASA’s efforts to search for habitable worlds and alien life.

"We are not talking about little green men. We're more talking about little microbes," Stofan clarified.

Recent discoveries have brought scientists closer to understanding extraterrestrial life, including a study that determined that 50 percent of Mars’ northern hemisphere was once covered with oceans as deep as a mile, where water may have been present for as long as 1.2 billion years. Another study found water beneath the icy crust of Jupiter’s moon Ganymede.

"We now recognize that habitable zones are not just around stars, they can be around giant planets too," said Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA. "We are finding out the solar system is really a soggy place."

NASA hopes to land geologists on Mars in the 2030s, which Stofan says is crucial to discovering life.

“I have a bias that it's eventually going to take humans on the surface of Mars — field geologists, astrobiologists, chemists — actually out there looking for that good evidence of life that we can bring back to Earth for all the scientists to argue about,” Stofan said.



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NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said Tuesday that the search for alien life may bear fruit within the next decade.
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2015-55-08
Wednesday, 08 Apr 2015 07:55 PM
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