back to article ALIENS ARE COMING: Chief NASA boffin in shock warning

First contact with alien life will happen very soon, claims NASA's Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan. During a panel discussion regarding NASA's search for habitable worlds and alien life, Stofan said: "I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive …

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  1. MacroRodent Silver badge

    Gross problems

    " eventually going to take humans on the surface of Mars "

    One problem here is that taking humans to Mars will almost certainly contaminate it with Earth microbes. (Where do the astronauts put their poo? They will certainly not take it back to Earth, for cost reasons). It would be safer to look for life with probes, which are easier to sterilize (and don't poo).

    1. Rikkeh

      Re: Gross problems

      We may ourselves be the descendants of a microbes which came here on an egg sandwich (or the equivalent) disgarded by an alien picnicker.

      (hat tip to Terry Pratchett for the idea)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gross problems

      "ALIENS ARE COMING"

      So that explains why they walk like that!

      1. LaeMing
        Boffin

        Re: Gross problems

        Earth and Mars have been exchanging pieces of rock (blown off each respectively by large meteor impacts) for the entire age of the solar system. Any contamination is already long done.

        1. MacroRodent Silver badge

          Re: Gross problems

          I'm not convinced anything would remain alive on those exchanged rocks. They get very hot on both take-off and landing, and are cooked by radiation for thousands of years in between.

  2. Sealand

    Who are the aliens anyway?

    So when they come, will it be two guys with a flag or a fleet of gunships with lasers ?

    Oh, WE are the aliens that are coming? Two guys with a flag, then. And a scoop.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

      Re: Who are the aliens anyway?

      That's one of the many reasons for liking Forbidden Planet: the humans arrive in a flying saucer.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Who are the aliens anyway?

        They might well bring the freedoms: The Liberation of Earth

  3. WylieCoyoteUK
    Alien

    Actually....

    We've been here for a while, but you simple humanoids are easily fooled.

    You won't even believe this post.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
      Joke

      Re: Actually....

      Hey, did you also hitch a ride with a teaser?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actually....

      This is UKIP and we want you alien lot gone.

      1. WylieCoyoteUK
        Pint

        Re: Actually....

        Nigel is one of our finest operators. Blends right in, doesn't he?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Actually....

          If Nigel is the best you can do at blending in, humanity is pretty safe - I thought with your fancy FTL spaceships and stealth and billion year old technologies you could make something that looked more human and would pass a Turing test.

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Actually....

          Was it a rush job? Looks like you got the wrong size skin for the head...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Actually....

            It's not easy to get a good fit on a reptile.

          2. Michael Maxwell

            Re: Actually....

            What, you think we want to look as ugly as you humans?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actually....

      > We've been here for a while, but you simple humanoids are easily fooled.

      Here at ElReg, we're quite proud of our resident alien - amanfrommars.

      1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

        Re: Actually.... @AC, and the Power of Global Operating Devices

        We've been here for a while, but you simple humanoids are easily fooled.

        Here at ElReg, we're quite proud of our resident alien - amanfrommars. ..... Anonymous Coward

        And more than just easily led to believe in virtually anything with practically nothing supporting their existence, either in the past or the present. That makes the entire race vulnerable to grooming, both subtle and surreal and spectacular.

        Time, El Regers, for a program and projects to show what can be done from an alien space and secure place. More anon.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Actually.... @AC, and the Power of Global Operating Devices

          Time, El Regers, for a program and projects to show what can be done from an alien space and secure place. More anon.

          A fully operational battle station, I presume?

          1. Martin Budden Silver badge

            Re: Actually.... @AC, and the Power of Global Operating Devices

            A fully operational battle station, I presume?

            I vote for one which could be mistaken for a moon.

            1. launcap
              Mushroom

              Re: Actually.... @AC, and the Power of Global Operating Devices

              > A fully operational battle station, I presume?

              > I vote for one which could be mistaken for a moon.

              Maybe (gasp) we already have! Those are not random craters y'know..

              Either that or the egg of some myserious space creature that can (equally mysteriously) generate an egg that weighs the same as it did without causing eddies (hi Eddie!) in the space-time continuum.

          2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: Actually.... @AC, and the Power of Global Operating Devices

            Time, El Regers, for a program and projects to show what can be done from an alien space and secure place. More anon.

            A fully operational battle station, I presume? ….. Mark 85

            Of course, Mark 85, anything less would negligent and leave room for the exploitation of attack facilities. And with an infinitely variable suite of omniscient weapons systems, both virtual and real enough to be surprisingly and spectacularly practical and creatively disruptive and even destructive whenever necessary/decidedly desirable is it, and IT too, an Asset not to be trifled with or ignored in the hope of things not changing rapidly and stealthily

            You can’t make a fine and perfect omelette without breaking eggs and, by Jove, do animals on crazy Earth deserve a fundamental and revolutionary change that forlorn hope and promises have failed miserably to deliver, monitor and mentor.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actually....

      David Vincent here, you haven't fooled me ! I'll get someone to eventually believe me after 47 years of trying.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Actually....

      "We've been here for a while, but you simple humanoids are easily fooled.

      You won't even believe this post."

      No worries, we at NASA have files on you.

  4. Sir Runcible Spoon
    Coat

    Sir

    So, with all that water hanging around waiting to be scooped up, all we need to do is crack fusion and we can be on our way to the stars?

    So, 20 years then? Grand.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
      Joke

      Re: Sir

      Fusion? Why not skip fusion and get into bistromathics directly

      1. Martin Budden Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Sir

        You might be under the impresssion that Bodmin is a dull town in Cornwall, but it is actually the most mysterious bistromathical nonabsolute number.

    2. launcap
      Thumb Up

      Re: Sir

      > all we need to do is crack fusion

      Nah. What we really, really need is to discover thiotimoline! Or (reaching even further back in my reading habits) discover how to negate inertia whilst simultaneously discovering/being given personal devices that enable telepathy..

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "I'm a field geologist. I go out and break open rocks and look for fossils,"

    Being a field geologist trained on Earth is likely to go with an expectation of finding evidence of life.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Joke

      Well they couldn't find any field geologists trained on Mars.

      1. Fink-Nottle
        Headmaster

        Strictly speaking they'd be areologists.

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        "Field geologists trained on Mars" on a CV would cause most of Earth's Three Letter Agencies to pursue you as if you had eyes filled with black oil.

  6. hi_robb

    May I bethe first

    To welcome our Ganymede and Europa dwelling new overlords.

    D

    1. Steven 1

      Re: May I bethe first

      +1

      Not enough 'new overlord' references these days...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: May I bethe first

        Not enough is still far too many.

  7. Alistair
    Alien

    @ WylieC :

    You lot from Antares are just low life pond scum teat suckers. Go Home.

    Those of us from the outer arm are actually making progress trying to teach this species about reality.

    1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson
      Happy

      And slood? Have you taught them about slood yet?

      1. Vinyl-Junkie
        Flame

        As anyone knows, slood is slightly easier to discover than fire [hence icon] and only marginally harder to discover than water. We have tried to teach humanity how to discover slood, yet as most of them, particularly the ones involved with something called "politics", "government" or "celebrity" have difficulty finding their posterier protruberence with both of their upper digital endpoints, we are struggling in this respect...

  8. wolfetone Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Obviously NASA hasn't heard of Roswell and Area 51.

    1. b166er

      Perhaps not, but Mulder has and he's back soon!

  9. JeffyPoooh
    Pint

    Predictions...

    Stofan said: "I think we're going to have strong indications of life beyond Earth within a decade, and I think we're going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years."

    Or maybe within a century, and within 200 to 300 years.

    Precisely as valid a wild-ass guess as his.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: Predictions...

      Precisely as valid a wild-ass guess as his.

      I think you'll find that Ellen Stofan is of the female gender. That kind of slip could get you crucified in The Guardian's comments sections.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Predictions...

        Scandalous!

        I don't come here to look at microaggressions! It's massively triggering to misgender someone like that! posjago lew;qmbs hbdp

        []]

        [

        ][k[p

        g

        3ihgewmqpkhm

        Sorry, whenever I channel that kind of thinking, my brain locks up to prevent permanent damage

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Predictions...

        That kind of slip could get you crucified in The Guardian's comments sections.

        I'm surprised a certain faction in Congress hasn't done that yet. After all, any fule knows the entire universe is only 6,000 years old and God put only us on a perfect world... <cough> BS<cough>

    2. Basjoe

      Re: Predictions...

      He is a she... (somewhat like the spoiler alert for The Crying Game..)

      1. launcap

        Re: Predictions...

        > He is a she...

        And walks on the wild side?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Predictions...

          What would the Pierson Puppeteers' equivalent of the "Guardian" look like?

    3. Captain DaFt

      Re: Predictions...

      Given the timescale, they'll no doubt arrive in fusion powered flying cars.

  10. Kaltern

    The more the public discover about UFO sightings and all the other alien-related stories, the less cover ups will be effective.

    This is just a precursor to the announcement that we knew all along.

    Nerve centre for

    Asylum

    Seeking

    Aliens.

  11. Mike Pellatt

    So, I might as well stop donating all those spare CPU cycles to SETIathome then.

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