Witnesses From NASA and MIT: Discovering Life Beyond Earth Is Inevitable


Scientists are almost there when it comes to scientific breakthrough in the search for life beyond earth, according to witnesses from MIT and NASA.
Human limits have been surpassed by the search for extra-terrestrial life. The road for much greater quest should pass through time and space.
The question “Are we alone?” was discussed once again on Wednesday as House committee convened to answer the question. The testimony, chaired by Lamar Smith of Texas, lasted for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes and ended inconclusively.
However, NASA and MIT witnesses as well as the Library of Congress noted current situation in the quests for alien life and suggested scientists is on the right track of a breakthrough.
MIT professor Dr. Sara Seager, who is also the 2013 MacArthur recipient, said that for the first time, humanity has the technology to cross the threshold. Seager’ work is more on detecting bio signature on distant planets wherein lots of these planets have the possibility to host life whether single-cell bacteria or intelligent life.
According to Seager in her testimony, advances are changing the search for life beyond earth such as the James Webb space telescope, which is scheduled for launch in 2018. Seager said that mankind has the shot to discover life beyond Earth if life is everywhere.
Potential planets in the Milky Way galaxy that have been discovered by Kepler mission reached 3,500 wherein 647 thought to be the right planets for life to exist because of their right distance from stars as announced by NASA last November 2013. Moreover, two studies recently released reveals that the Hubble space telescope has found presence of water in 5 planets’ atmospheres outside the solar system.
Seager said that there is a big chance of life elsewhere in the universe and the question now is if there is life in stars close to planet Earth in which they think the chances are good.
All the witnesses suggested that continuous funding is needed for space research in particular and scientific research in general. The government allocated budget for NASA has decreased slightly, amounted to only $17.7bn because of deeper cuts in the last 10 years.
NASA’s senior scientist for astrobiology, Dry Mary Voytek, said that funding is very vital but noted that it’s a tough one to obtain enough funding.
Republican of Florida, Bill Posey, said that it’s inevitable to discover life on other planets and it’s just a matter of time and funding.

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