Several top experts including SpaceX founder Elon Musk believe that life could be confined only on earth, and humans should try to emerge as a multi-planetary species using their consciousness. However, several recent studies had suggested that planets like Mars and Venus were once home to life, as these space bodies had the right conditions for life to thrive and evolve. Some studies even revealed that Mars once had a healthy water system. To know more about ancient life on Mars and Venus, space agencies like NASA and ESA are already planning missions to these distant planets.
Ongoing Perseverance probe and future missions to Venus
It was on February 18, 2021, that NASA landed its Perseverance rover on the surface of the Red Planet. Apart from studying the surface of Mars, the primary aim of this mission is to detect signs of ancient alien life on Mars.
In the meantime, three missions to Venus are also getting shaped up. DAVINCI+ and Veritas are the names for NASA’s mission, while ESA’s mission is known as EnVision. It should be noted that Venus shares several similarities with earth, which means the planet might have once the right conditions for life. And if Venus was like earth, how did it turn inhospitable? The answer to this million-dollar query will be revealed after the successful completion of NASA and ESA missions. If scientists succeed in finding the reason behind the extinction of life on these distant space bodies, it could help experts to know how life will end on earth in the future.
“We have two models for how Venus came to be. The first is that the planet was always terrible. It started off in what we call the magma ocean phase, which we think most rocky planets do. The second scenario is that Venus might actually have been just like Earth, with oceans and plate tectonics. Whatever we find on Venus is going to be important to make sense of our own planet’s history and future, but also what we’ll see around other stars,” planetary scientist Paul Byrne told BBC’s Science Focus.
Space threats could wipe out life from the surface of the earth
Around 66 million years ago, a giant asteroid hit the earth and resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs. The earth has not witnessed such a devastating event since then, and it played a crucial role in determining human evolution. However, space experts like Dr Iain McDonald believe that devastating events like asteroid hits are not confined to the past and they may happen in the future too. American physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson had also shared similar views, and he believes that life on earth could end due to a devastating asteroid hit in the future.