Legendary astronaut Dr Helen Sharman believes we will land on Mars within the next two decades and find evidence of aliens.
The 60-year-old, who was the first Brit in space – visiting the Mir space station in 1991 – reveals there is huge excitement within the community about the direction plans to visit the Red Planet are going.
Helen says: “It really does feel now like there’s a tangible programme firstly to get back to the Moon, or orbit around the Moon to get us elsewhere – this is part of the mission to Mars.
READ MORE: China and Russia 'trying to mine the moon' to create 'cosmic nuclear weapons'
“Most astronauts agree that by the 2030s we will have had the first people visit Mars.
“But establishing a base will take longer; then a colony and living in space is very far in the future.
“I’d be prepared to say we’ll highly likely have people walking on the surface of Mars in the next 20 years.”
And what about determining life on other planets?
Helen continues: “A little green man with three heads?
“Somewhere in the universe there must be life, I can’t believe there isn’t.
“I think we’d be arrogant to think we’re the only life forms anywhere.
“There’s a high probability on Mars there has been – or is – some sort of life.
“Mars used to have liquid water.
Putin set to invade the moon with £20million rocket heading for the Lunar South Pole
“When we mine below the surface are we going to find evidence it used to exist or still does, even more excitingly?
“Would it be intelligent that we would recognise as intelligent?
“People ask why they haven’t contacted us but maybe there were just dinosaurs on the planet or maybe it’s about to happen.
“Maybe it's a lifeform that’s at a different stage to where we are on earth right now.”
Helen, UK Outreach Ambassador at Imperial College London, is one of the speakers at this week’s Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition where she’ll share amid the fear of AI taking human jobs, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers “are most likely to be plentiful in future”.
She says: “The world is changing so much that for young people half the jobs they will have don’t even exist.
“Technical careers incorporating science and engineers are likely to be prevalent in the future.
“Consider STEM subjects at university.
NASA locks volunteers inside Mars simulator in 378-day mission for 'benefit of humanity'
“One of my other hats is President of the Institute of Science and Technology, which is the professional body for technicians.
“There are a lot of technicians about to retire – the country needs a whole lot more to bring through new ideas as jobs will be changing in the future.”
But given the chance Helen would jump at the opportunity to pull on her spacesuit again.
She says: “I would love to go to Mars.
“I love the idea of teamwork in space.
“When you think about the isolation of a team on Mars – it can take between four and 22 minutes for radio signals to get one way between Earth and Mars – the crew is going to have to be more self-sufficient.
“It will have to be diverse in terms of the activities each person does. “You’ll have a doctor up there but there will have to be at least one other person with a good background in medicine and that’s the same for almost everything.
“They’re going to need to have dual capabilities and special interests.
Martian life could share Earth DNA – but bugs on Saturn's moons would be 'new'
“There’s also what will you do when you first arrive?
“Will the habitat be built by robots? How are they going to feel when they first land on Mars and are they going to have to get out of their spacecraft and work hard in a Martian dust storm when possibly feeling sick?
“That’s why they’re working on how astronauts can survive longer in space.
“It’s important to know how people operate in space now because that’s going to tell us how people are going to cope on Mars.”
She spent eight days orbiting the Earth but what is it really like to go up into space?
Helen says: “It’s beautiful.
Bonking to make 'space babies' on Mars or the Moon could be 'unethical', expert claims
“The earth is spinning below you so it’s sometimes dark, light, there’s snow, glaciers, deserts, seas and thunderstorms you can see.
“At night you can see towns and cities where people you know and love are living.
“It’s a gorgeous feeling being emotionally connected to the Earth.
“Feeling weightless is very easy.
“It’s a lovely experience doing stuff you can't do on Earth.”
The free Summer Science Exhibition takes place at the Royal Society in London between July 4-9. See Summer Science Exhibition 2023 | Royal Society for more information.
For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.
Source: Read Full Article