NASA astrophysicist: extraterrestrial life is more likely than we thought

NASA astrophysicist: extraterrestrial life is more likely than we thought
NASA astrophysicist: extraterrestrial life is more likely than we thought
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He believes that modern assumptions "underestimate nature."

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First Assistant Director of NASA Science Missions Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen, who has held this position since 2016, visited Boston University and answered questions from staff and students. This is reported by ScienceAlert.

In a series of responses, Zurbuchen shared his views on the likelihood of extraterrestrial life and told when, in his opinion, the first expedition to Mars with the participation of astronauts will take place.

In response to the question of what riddle he would like to see solved during his lifetime, the astrophysicist replied:

“Is there life beyond the Earth? I think the answer is yes, but we don't know that right now. The reason why I think so is simple: all the time before we underestimated nature. For example, when they put forward assumptions about the presence of water or molecular complexes outside our planet. It turned out that all this is enough, one has only to go beyond the threshold. Take, for example, the polar craters of Mercury. As for the chain of life … Well, life is somewhere there is more likely than we thought."

Image

A snapshot of the Arecibo Observatory of the North Pole of Mercury. Yellow spots indicate areas of high reflectance. One of the hypotheses says that this is an ice accumulation / © National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, Arecibo Observatory

He also said that now he would not like to personally fly into space, as it would take too much time to prepare. However, he shared his own thoughts on sending people to Mars. According to him, the expedition should be expected in the middle of the third decade of the 21st century. The astrophysicist believes that the team should not exceed eight people, but a more detailed discussion should be postponed closer to the appointed date.

In the meantime, the study of Mars is already underway. The Space Agency recently reported that the Curiosity rover, which is exploring the Gale crater, has helped uncover new details about the origin of Mount Aeolis.

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