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From UFO crash sites on other planets and aliens “lurking” on asteroids to a permanent radio telescope on the far side of the Moon, a new NASA-funded study into the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life (SETI) details how future NASA missions could purposefully look for the “technosignatures” of advanced alien civilizations.

Described as evidence for the use of technology or industrial activity in other parts of the Universe, the search for technosignatures has barely begun, but could unearth something surprising without much additional spend, says the study. 

After more or less ceasing its search for technosignatures in 1993 after pressure by politicians, NASA has become increasingly involved in SETI.

Published in the specialized journal Acta Astronautica, the study includes a list of what’s NASA missions could detect as observational “proof of extraterrestrial life” beyond Earth. 

Perhaps most intriguingly, the paper suggests that interstellar probes might have been sent into the Solar System a long time ago, perhaps during the last close encounter of our Sun with other stars.

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