NASA scientists believe that we are only few decades away from finding extraterrestrial life. The space researchers are confident that with the modern sophisticated equipment that has been built over the years, we will have been able to glean significant data about the presence of microbial life by 2025.
“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 en evidence within 20 to 30 years,” NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan said this week at a public panel discussion in Washington. “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.”
Mars, for instance, may now seem to be uninhabitable, but it used to have an abundance of water long ago, with lakes, rivers and oceans. Water, being the life-liquid, triggers the hope of the presence of living organisms.
Furthermore, recent discoveries suggest that alien life in other worlds might be more common than was initially thought. As a matter of fact, most stars are believed to be hosting planets. Another study put forth the hypothesis that those stars located in our galaxy has around 2 planets within the habitable range, known as “Goldilocks zone”. The latter is the spot where liquid water could exist.
Other studies suggest that giant planets could also have such habitable zones. Scientists are therefore highly optimistic about discovering life elsewhere.
Life might be within the reach of Jupiter even. Its icy moon called Europa is said to have a vast deep subsurface ocean. The water located there is not completely frozen in spite of the strong tidal forces brought about by Jupiter’s force of gravity. Another satellite of Jupiter, Ganymede, is also believed to hold a saltwater ocean in its midst.
A moon of Saturn, Enceladus, has also shown signs of a liquid water ocean underneath its surface.
On top of it, technology as we know it is expected to develop further – this implies that the possibility will be even more promising. NASA is to launch a mission to Europa by 2022. It also intends to send its James Webb Space Telescope to search the worlds of nearby super-Earths.
We might truly be very near to finding alien life.