NASA's 2016 budget was approved by President Obama last week, and it contained some exciting goals: "A robust planetary science program includes data analysis of ongoing missions, and development of the next Mars rover. NASA will also continue formulating a mission to Europa, Jupiter's icy moon that, data suggests, may have organic material on its surface."
Are we alone...? I think not...but are aliens visiting the planet and doing experiments on our people and animals - again - I think not. Why travel light years to disembowel a cow? If beings came within our solar system and saw how screwed up we were...would they really risk coming down, getting killed, experimented on, having their ship taken by governments, inciting war and .... see how much of a wasted effort it would be? I'd pass us right on by too.
The search for life beyond our solar system requires cooperation across scientific disciplines — the way the UW-based Virtual Planetary Laboratory has been working since 2001. Now, NASA’s NExSS collaboration will take a similarly interdisciplinary approach to the search for life. Participants include those who study Earth as a life-bearing planet (lower right), those researching the diversity of solar system planets (left), and those on the new frontier, discovering worlds orbiting other stars.