Earth’s greatest minds are still looking to the stars for life, and now the woman helping run the show at NASA has pinned a target date on when we’ll hopefully find it.
During a panel discussion earlier this week, NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan touched upon the agency’s efforts to find alien life or potentially habitable planets. According to Stofan, definitive proof should come within our lifetime — with legitimate signs even sooner than that.
Here’s an excerpt from her comments at the panel:
"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. 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."
Though Stofan’s assessment might seem a bit aggressive, take a look at the facts and it makes a lot of sense. We’re sitting on the precipice of a massive age of space exploration, though admittedly most of it will come about with robots and probes instead of flesh-and-blood astronauts.
We have rovers on Mars, satellites at the far edge of our solar system and just about everywhere of interest in between, and plans to explore the mysterious oceans underneath the crust of Europa. It stands to reason we’ll find something tangible within a decade, and something even more legit within 10-15 years after that.
What do you think? When and where (or will) we ever find alien life?