NASA chief says life probably exists outside Earth – Quartz

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The head of NASA suspects that we are not alone in the universe – or in several universes, for that matter.

Bill Nelson, who was sworn in as NASA administrator in May, was remarkably open-minded about the possibility of extraterrestrial life during an interview with the University’s Center for Politics. from Virginia last week.

“My personal opinion is that the universe is so big, and now there are even theories that there could be other universes. If so, who am I to say that planet Earth is the only location of a civilized and organized life form like ours? “Nelson told AVU politics professor Larry Sabato. He continued,” Are there other Earth planets? certainly think so, because the universe is so big.

Are UFO sightings signs of extraterrestrial life?

Nelson, a Democrat, has championed space programs throughout his congressional career, first as a representative for Florida House, then as a senator. He even traveled to space himself aboard the Columbia shuttle in 1986.

During his conversation with Sabato, Nelson focused on finding alien life as part of NASA’s explorations, and said Navy pilots have reported more than 300 sightings of unidentified flying objects. since 2004. He has continued:

“And they don’t know what it is, and we don’t know what it is. We hope there isn’t an adversary here on Earth who has this kind of technology. But it is something. And so, this is a mission that we are constantly looking for – what, who is there? Who are we? How did we get here? How did we come to be who we are? How did we evolve? How did we civilize? And do these same conditions exist in a universe that has billions of other suns in billions of other galaxies – it’s so big I can’t imagine it. “

In recent years, the US government has become increasingly blunt about pilots’ encounters with UFOs, although it has been careful not to suggest that these sightings are evidence of extraterrestrial life. A Pentagon report, released in June, failed to come to any conclusions on the provenance of the sightings, keeping a number of other possible explanations, such as the idea that UFOs are in fact advanced technologies from countries like Russia or China, or that they are simply the result of a natural phenomenon disturbing the sensors of military aircraft – in play.

Searching for extraterrestrial life is “part of NASA’s mission”

Nelson, too, does not claim to have definitive explanations. But it’s certainly noteworthy that the head of the US space agency is both receptive to the idea that life can exist beyond Earth and invested in the idea that NASA is trying to find answers. “What do you think we’re doing on Mars? We are looking for life. It’s part of NASA’s mission, ”he said.

At the same time, Nelson said the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe only underscores the importance of taking care of our home planet.

“I’ll tell you what that makes me think. I’d better be a better steward of what we have, because we mess it up, and we just mess it up the way we treat each other, ”he said. “So I know what my mission is, to be a better steward of this planet and a better citizen of planet Earth.”

You can watch Nelson’s full interview in the YouTube video below, with his comments on alien life starting around 53:17.


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