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NASA Administrator: Alien Life Is More Likely Than We Thought

NASA Administrator: Alien Life Is More Likely Than We Thought

All of us at some point have asked ourselves the question of whether we are alone in the universe. This is a question that has haunted us for centuries. However, we are not all in the capacity to have an idea of ​​the correct answer, we need to know how physics, life and space work.

A person who has an acceptable knowledge of these fields is the American astrophysicist Thomas Zurbuchen, who currently serves as an associate administrator of the Directorate of Science Missions of NASA. And Zurbuchen believes that life beyond Earth is likely to exist.

In an interview for Boston University, the administrator said that we are not alone, but that “we do not know”. The reason, Zurbuchen adds, is because “we underestimated nature when we doubted whether water or complex molecules would exist beyond Earth. Each of them is much easier to achieve than we thought possible. “

NASA Administrator: Alien Life Is More Likely Than We Thought
Thomas Zurbuchen, addressing a crowd gathered at BU School of Law’s Barristers Hall, talked about NASA’s current and future space missions. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

The scientist mentions that, for example, we have found the indispensable element for life as we know it, “even in the craters of Mercury”. That is why “life is much more likely to be outside than we thought before.”

Space exploration and our own home

Zurbuchen also touched on other topics such as space tourism. He said they were exciting and that it should be opened for everyone. Also, he said that if going to space was as simple as flying to Paris, he would go immediately. “Right now, I do not want to spend the weeks and months of training that are necessary for space flight,” he added.

The NASA administrator also spoke about plans to send humans to Mars. “I would say in the mid-2030s, but things must happen now so we can get there,” he said. “We need to get humans out of low Earth orbit to understand the key elements of whether we can survive in deep space.”

Of special concern are radiation, the safety of crews and limitations in telecommunications. Therefore, he says, it is necessary that astronauts are self – sufficient and can handle independently on the red planet. In addition, the first crews will be small groups of 4 to 8 people, he believes.

Finally, the astrophysicist says that both our supposed galactic solitude and our future visits to Mars are of little importance if we do not take care of our own home. “We must keep the Earth habitable,” he says. “It’s not safe to do the opposite. I think of terraforming other planets a small percentage of the time, but much more time I focus on ways to keep the Earth habitable and wonderful, not the other way around.”

Zurbuchen is right, in parallel to our space exploration, humans must learn to take care of our own planet. Although we often do not consider it, our actions have much greater impacts on the environment than we thought. and there is the Polar Vortex to remind us.

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