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Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
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Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Could Call From E.T. Be Coming Soon?

This artist's rendering provided by NASA shows of the Mars Rover, Opportunity, on the surface of Mars. NASA plans to launch a new Mars rover and science lab on November 25. (AP/NASA)

This artist's rendering provided by NASA portrays the Mars Rover, Opportunity, on the surface of Mars. NASA plans to launch a new Mars rover and science lab on November 25. (AP/NASA)

With NASA’s $2.5 billion unmanned mission to Mars slated to launch on November 25, and the recent discovery of a potentially habitable planet a mere 35 light years from Earth (203 trillion miles) in the constellation of Vela, scientists may be closer to discovering alien life than ever before.

However, as Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute says, the first life forms we’re likely to encounter won’t be little green men, but nearly invisible microbes.

Shostak says even microscopic life from alien worlds are important discoveries, and he believes that intelligent life will also be found eventually.

Guest:

  • Dr. Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at SETI Institute

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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