The search for extra-terrestrial life has been one NASA’s most important missions in recent years. NASA has estimated that in our galaxy alone, there are 100 million planets that cold possibly host alien life.
Speaking at their Washington headquarters on Monday, NASA outlined new plans to use current telescope technology to help in the search. They also announced that they would be launching the Transiting Exoplanet Surveying Satellite in 2017 to aid in the search.
“Just imagine the moment, when we find potential signatures of life. Imagine the moment when the world wakes up and the human race realizes that its long loneliness in time and space may be over — the possibility we’re no longer alone in the universe,”
said Matt Mountain, who serves as director at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. The Institute will be launching the James Webb Space Telescope in 2018 to help in the search as well.
Mountain also added,
“What we didn’t know five years ago is that perhaps 10 to 20 per cent of stars around us have Earth-size planets in the habitable zone… It’s within our grasp to pull off a discovery that will change the world forever.”
NASA Administrator and former astronaut Charles Bolden also weighed in on the announcement:
“Do we believe there is life beyond Earth? I would venture to say that most of my colleagues here today say it is improbable that in the limitless vastness of the universe we humans stand alone.”
Read the original story from CBS News here.