Aliens exist and it is possible they are already here on Earth, according to the first British astronaut to go into space.
Speaking to the Observer Magazine, Dr Helen Sharman said: “Aliens exist, there’s no two ways about it. There are so many billions of stars out there in the Universe that there must be all sorts of different forms of life.”
She added that although they may not be made up of carbon and nitrogen like humans, “it’s possible they’re here right now and we simply can’t see them”.
Dr Sharman, 56, made history when she participated in a mission to the Soviet modular space station Mir in May 1991.
Read more about alien life:
- Alien invasion (of sorts)! 10 of the friendliest aliens in film
- Alien contact: a brief history of extraterrestrial languages
- 5 reasons why we haven’t found aliens yet
- The thought experiment: What would happen if aliens contacted us?
In the interview, she highlighted how she is often referred to as the first British woman in space, rather than simply the first Briton.
“It’s telling that we would otherwise assume it was a man,” she said.
“When Tim Peake went into space, some people simply forgot about me. A man going first would be the norm, so I’m thrilled that I got to upset that order.”
Reader Q&A: How far from Earth could aliens detect our radio signals?
Asked by: Anna Briggs, Plymouth
While commercial radio broadcasts began around 100 years ago, these early transmissions used frequencies that were either mopped up by the atmosphere or drowned out by radio emission from the Sun.
In contrast, military radar transmissions set up during the Cold War to detect incoming ballistic missiles have the power and frequency characteristics to be detected over hundreds of light-years – and have already broadcast our existence to any aliens within around 60 light-years of the Earth.
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- Could we ever detect other universes?