An enactment proposed in the US Congress suggests raising millions of dollars which should be spent on NASA and its future partners for the search for extraterrestrial life.
Filed in the House of Representatives, the bill advocates that $10 million should be allotted for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years for NASA to team with the private sector and nonprofit agencies “to pursue technology firms, such as radio broadcasts, to meet NASA’s goal of pursuing the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe.”
If enacted and passed into law, the proposed bill can open the door for NASA to revive spending on the pursuit of extraterrestrial life once again in 25 years.
Throughout history, NASA has assisted the search for extraterrestrial life in several different manners, for instance, by identifying exoplanets which are deemed to possess the proper life-sustaining conditions.
SETI, the renowned program for the search for extraterrestrial life, helped with the development of the new legislation
Scientists at the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute have reported that Representative Lamar Smith, a Republican from Texas, collaborated with them to develop the terms of the proposed bill.
Under pressure to make a statement to affirm that he was the originator of the action, Smith’s office only made a general declaration on astrobiology, stating that “it is clear that the scientific community and the public are very interested in this research.”
The former SETI research chair, Jill Tarter, noted that the new bill does not secure the financing of the SETI Institute. On the other hand, Jill Tarter was part of the 1992 endeavor that featured the use of radio telescopes in Puerto Rico and California to target far-distant stars in the search for extraterrestrial life.
“This is a licensing law, not a appropriations law. Even if approved, the proponents cannot provide any SETI funding in their bill. But if they do, it would be a big problem,” stated Jill Tarter.
However, the coolness of this new bill is that it proposes funding for the search for extraterrestrial, a field that has been somehow forgotten by the officials and, to some extent, by NASA itself, despite its exoplanets research which, by now, didn’t return results in regard to alien life.