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Do Aliens Exist? We Asked a NASA Scientist: Episode 5

Do aliens exist? Extraterrestrial life has never been discovered, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. At NASA, astrobiologists like Lindsay Hays are trying to answer one of the most profound questions ever: Is there life beyond Earth? 

Do aliens exist? This is a really interesting question and one that NASA has been trying to understand, explore, and figure out for a long time. We have not yet discovered life on any other planet, and we have not seen any scientifically supported evidence for extraterrestrial life.

But if we think about life on this planet, beyond the big things — the elephants, the whales, redwoods trees –– and focus on the tiny things, nearly everywhere on Earth that we’ve looked, we’ve found microbial life.

Our definition of habitable environments continues to expand. Off the Earth we’ve only begun to look. NASA has sent five rovers and four landers to the surface of Mars. Additionally, orbiters have been outfitted with some amazing cameras to take pictures of the whole surface of the Red Planet. But we’ve only explored a tiny fraction of Mars. And that’s only one of the promising bodies to look for life in our solar system.

There are icy moons in the outer solar system like Saturn’s moon Enceladus and Jupiter’s moon Europa that look like they may have subsurface oceans that could be habitable. And that’s just what’s in our solar system. The more exoplanets we find around other stars, the more we learn about how many different environments could exist for life.

We can’t yet say for sure whether or not aliens exist. To quote Carl Sagan: “The universe is a pretty big place. If it’s just us, it seems like an awful waste of space.” So, NASA will keep looking.

Learn more about the NASA Astrobiology Program: https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/ 

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Last Updated
Nov 17, 2023
Editor
Tricia Talbert