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Extraterrestrial

NASA steps up the search for alien life

By T.K. Randall
April 24, 2015 · Comment icon 6 comments



The hunt is now on for a habitable extrasolar planet. Image Credit: NASA
The space agency has formed a new coalition of scientists from a wide range of different fields.
The Nexus for Exoplanet System Science (NExSS) aims to bring together climate scientists, heliophysicists, astrophysicists and several other groups of experts in a concerted effort to find evidence of life on other planets.

In particular the scientists will be attempting to better understand the conditions needed to support life and to find new ways to identity potentially habitable extrasolar worlds.

"This interdisciplinary endeavor connects top research teams and provides a synthesized approach in the search for planets with the greatest potential for signs of life," said Jim Green, NASA's Director of Planetary Science.
"The hunt for exoplanets is not only a priority for astronomers, itís of keen interest to planetary and climate scientists as well."

In addition to the planet-hunting data that already exists thanks to the Kepler Space Telescope, the NExSS team will also be primed to analyze the data returned by two other upcoming planet-hunting missions - the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite which will launch in 2017 and the much anticipated James Webb Space Telescope which is currently scheduled for 2018.

Together the scientists will attempt to answer one of humanity's biggest questions - are we alone ?

The news follows NASA chief scientist Ellen Stofan's prediction that evidence of extraterrestrial life will be found within as little as two decades.

"I believe we are going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth in the next decade and definitive evidence in the next 10 to 20 years," she said.

Source: Belfast Telegraph | Comments (6)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by GreenmansGod 8 years ago
Unless congress cuts the funding off.
Comment icon #2 Posted by bubblykiss 8 years ago
Has Obama appointed a new NASA Tsar?
Comment icon #3 Posted by BeastieRunner 8 years ago
Has Obama appointed a new NASA Tsar? Jim Watzin is the Mars Czar and Bolden is still the Admin. Holdren might be considered the current czar.
Comment icon #4 Posted by pokingjoker 8 years ago
I'm of the mind that life does exist elsewhere and that there's proof already behind closed doors. It seems to me nasa has been inching towards prepping the common folk, to drop the news.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Jacker 8 years ago
I read stuff like this for years now, and so far, nothing but frozen microbal life was found (and it was found on a comet, here on Earth). In my opinion, you can't conclude if there really are intelligent beings on planets outside of our solar system just by studying the planet's image. Image, esspecially of a far away planet means nothing. If we life in these conditions on this planet, it doesn't mean that extraterrestrials need the same conditions - meaning, life could exist on planets much, much different than our's. IMO we can't find anything unless at least robot is sent to potential-inte... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 8 years ago
I read stuff like this for years now, and so far, nothing but frozen microbal life was found (and it was found on a comet, here on Earth) No "frozen microbial life" has been found on a comet on Earth. Some structures which were believed to have been possible fossilised microbial life were found in a meteorite which originated on Mars, although most scientists now believe these structures to be geological rather than biological in origin. In my opinion, you can't conclude if there really are intelligent beings on planets outside of our solar system just by studying the planet's image. Probably ... [More]


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