Speaking at a panel on water in the universe and the search for habitable planets on Tuesday, NASA’s chief scientist Ellen Stofan discussed her prediction that humanity would confirm that it is “not alone” by the year 2025.
However if you are hoping to mate with a planet full of hot extraterrestrial, three breasted green ladies you had better slow down. Stofan says;
“We are not talking about little green men,” Stofan said. “We are talking about little microbes.”
OK, I could still work with that.
With increasing evidence of water currently and previously on other planets and moons in our own solar system and exoplanets around other stars, many people at NASA are confident we will soon find life.
NASA scientist Ellen Stofan is stoked for aliens in ten years.
“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 during the facinating panel, which you can watch here:
Others on the panel agreed with Stofan, with Jeffery Newmark, NASA’s director of heliophysics saying, “It’s definitely not an if, it’s a when.”
While we might not get sucked into a spaceship via a tractor beam anytime soon, there are tons of places to find out where microbial aliens might be lurking. Jupiter’s moons Ganymede and Europa- and Saturn’s moon Enceladus are believed to have warm water oceans beneath their surfaces that could be hospitable for life. NASA is planning a mission to Europa that could detect signs of life around 2022 and in 2018 they are launching a new space telescope that could search for signs of life on exoplanets outside the solar system. Even on Mars, the Curiosity Rover has found organic molecules and other building blocks that indicate that the Red Planet may have one day been capable of sustaining life. So pretty exciting stuff if you are a fan of aliens.
Do you think it would be a huge deal for most people if scientists discover evidence of alien microbes? Or just another thing for nerds to geek out about and everyone else to say “Oh my god who cares, Dancing With The Stars is on.”
Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney