According to people familiar with the matter, the U.S. House of Representatives plans to give NASA enough funding to search for “technosignatures, such as radio transmissions” aka alien life.
NASA’s search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) programs will resume with a funding of $10 million per year. The seti programs were put on hold due to the lack of resources. Congress has reportedly decided to keep the cash flowing for the next two fiscal years.
The proposed bill, however, has to pass the House, the Senate, and the President. Also, it can only just recommend NASA on how it should spend the money. Yet, SETI researchers are over thrilled with the possibility.
It is the first time in more than two decades that the U.S. Congress agrees to unlock funds for alien life research.
The program was first kicked off in the fall of 1992, with two radio dishes in California and Puerto Rico respectively. The telescopes analyzed the night skies hoping to find a signal from a potential alien civilization.
Jill Tarter, one of the researchers involved in the original SETI program, broke the news that the program might soon be back on track.
NASA’s Alien Life Research Put on Hold Indefinitely
In 1993, SETI was put on hold as Senator Richard Bryan removed all funding for the program from NASA’s budget.
“The Great Martian Chase may finally come to an end,”
said the Senator at the time.
Bryan argued that the space agency had spent millions of dollars and had seen not a single “little green fellow.,” while no alien spaceship had applied for an approval with the FAA.
Meanwhile, academic institutions have continued the hunt for alien life, and so did Tarter, but with no financial input from the federal government. Tarter underlined that Sen. Bryan convinced Congress that a SETI project wouldn’t benefit NASA’s budget.
Image Source: Nasa