Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Congress grapples with the search for extraterrestrial life



Once the laughter had subsided over jokes about the search for intelligent life on Capitol Hill, the U.S. House of Representatives Science Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics got down to business with a July 12 hearing about the possible existence of extraterrestrial organisms.

“I don't know if little green men exist,” said Subcommittee Chair Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.). “I do know that the science community is attempting to determine the existence of basic life on planets neighboring Earth, as well as planets beyond our Solar system. With the help of scientific methods, we are just now beginning to answer a question that has existed since the dawn of humankind: are we alone?”