New Technologies Emerge in Search for Alien Life

Does life exist on other planets? Seeking an answer, scientists are busy developing the next generation of tools that will examine atmospheric chemicals of Earth-like planets for signs of life.

For decades, scientists have searched the skies in vain for signs of extraterrestrial life. On April 8, 1960 Frank Drake, now Chairman of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California, aimed a radio antenna a two nearby stars and listened for distant communications.