During an interview with the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia this week, Bill Nelson, who was named NASA administrator in May, was unusually open to the idea of extraterrestrial life.
“My personal opinion is that the universe is so big, and now, there are even theories that there could be other universes. If that’s the case, who am I to say that planet Earth is the only location for a civilized and organized life form like ours? Nelson told Larry Sabato, a professor of politics at UVA. And he continued: “Are there other planet Earths out there? I certainly think so, because the universe is very big.
Are UFO Reports Proof of Alien Life?
Throughout his time in Congress, Nelson has promoted space programs, first as a representative in the Florida House of Representatives and later as a senator. He even carried the Columbia shuttle into space in 1986.
Nelson mentioned the search for extraterrestrial life as a component of NASA’s explorations during his talk with Sabato.
He also mentioned that Navy pilots have reported more than 300 sightings of unidentified flying objects since 2004. He continued:
“And they don’t know what it is, and we don’t know what it is. We hope it’s not an adversary here on Earth that has that kind of technology. But it is something. And so this is a mission that we’re constantly looking for – what, who’s out there? About us? How did we get here? How do we become what we are? How do we develop? How have we become civilized? And are those same conditions out there, in a universe that has billions of other suns in billions of other galaxies – it’s so big I can’t conceive of it.”
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The US government has been more open in recent years about pilots’ experiences with UFOs, but has been careful not to suggest that these sightings are proof of extraterrestrial life. In a report published in June, the Pentagon refrained from drawing conclusions about the origin of the sightings, leaving open other hypotheses, such as the idea that UFOs are actually advanced technologies from nations such as China or Russia or that they are simply the result of natural phenomena that interfere with the sensors of military aircraft.
The search for extraterrestrial life is “part of NASA’s mission”
Nelson also denies having definitive explanations. But it is important that the head of the US space agency is open to the idea that life could exist elsewhere in the universe and is enthusiastic about NASA’s efforts to find out more.
“What do you think we’re doing on Mars? We are looking for life. It’s a part of NASA’s mission.”
Nelson added that the possibility of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe only serves to emphasize how crucial it is to protect our own planet.
I’ll tell you what it makes me think. You better be a better steward of what we have, because we’re screwing it up, and we’re screwing it up by the way we treat each other,” he said. “So I know what my mission is, to be a better steward of this planet and to be a better citizen of planet Earth.”