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Area 51 does not house aliens but extraterrestrial life exists: NASA chief

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NASA administrator Major Charles Frank Bolden was charged with handling tough questions this week about the existence of extraterrestrial life, Area 51, and other space-related subjects. The NASA chief was careful and forthright with his answers, as he should be. But in this particular setting, he had to be careful not to lose his audience, a group only too adept at detecting b. s. -- schoolchildren.

The Telegraph reported June 19 that NASA's Charles Bolden spoke with British schoolchildren about space and future missions that would include Mars. And when one 10-year-old asked if he believed in aliens, Bolden said that he did.

"I do believe that we will someday find other forms of life or a form of life, if not in our solar system then in some of the other solar systems - the billions of solar systems in the universe," he said. "Today we know that there are literally thousands, if not millions of other planets, many of which may be very similar to our own earth. So some of us, many of us believe that we're going to find...evidence that there is life elsewhere in the universe."

Of course, Bolden did not go into the various other factors that might determine whether or not extraterrestrial life might exist on worlds unlike Earth (where conditions might be as alien as the biological forms that inhabit them), sticking with the more easily digested idea -- especially for a grade-schooler -- that if life is found, it will be on Earth-like planets. As for finding the evidence, NASA boldly predicted in July last year that alien life would be discovered within the next two decades.

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