Are we alone in this universe? Given its infinitude, that’s unlikely. Will we discover other life forms before they discover us? Yes, suggest the latest utterances of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The space agency says it is close to finding life on Mars, but earth may not yet be ready for the news.

According to a report in the UK’s The Telegraph, NASA’s chief scientist Jim Green says NASA and the European Space Agency aim to launch two Mars-bound rovers next year. These are likely to land on the red planet in March 2021. Green believes that the two rovers may find evidence of life within months of that landing. “We are close to finding it and making some announcements," Green has been quoted as saying. But he’s worried that human beings aren’t prepared for the results.

The existence of life on other planets has often seemed preposterous and limited to the realm of science fiction. But signs of groundwater and mystery magnetic pulses on Mars picked up by NASA’s InSight Mars mission, together with various research studies, seem to indicate that life-sustaining conditions may have existed far closer to home than earlier suspected. The discovery of extra-terrestrial life, many believe, is just a matter of time. Of course, the organisms encountered need not be anything of the sort we suppose. And it’s a near certainty that they will not resemble anything seen in cinema halls. They may be microscopic, for all we know. But let that not diminish how momentous the occasion would be.

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