Aliens likely exist because the universe is so big, according to the head of NASA.
Former space shuttle astronaut Bill Nelson, said it was likely intelligent extraterrestrial life is out there.
He said the powerful James Webb telescope – launched on Christmas Day – could help detect other worlds where life could thrive.
Asked at an Investing In Space Conference if he believed in intelligent extraterrestrial life he replied: "The short answer is yes. We know that we have in our galaxy, millions, if not billions of suns, and we know that in addition to our galaxy there are millions, if not billions, of galaxies with millions or billions of suns.
"Now is there a possibility in a universe that big that conditions like Earth have been created? Of course there is that possibility.
"With the telescope we're going to be able to have such precision to look at a planet and determine the chemical composition of its atmosphere so we can determine if it has a possibility of a habitable atmosphere.’’
Boffins grow plants in alien soil for first time in bid to farm on the Moon
His comments came after top astronomer Avi Loeb called for nations to spend their defence budgets on the search for ET – after claiming Earth has already been visited by aliens.
The Harvard University professor is convinced a mysterious cigar-shaped object spotted hovering over Hawaii in 2017 was a highly advance technological probe sent by extraterrestrials and first recorded proof aliens exist.
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Boffins were not able to investigate it properly due to lack of investment.
Avi reckons world leaders should spend trillions on space exploration instead of blowing it protecting `people against other people just like kids playing in the playground with toys’.
He wants cash spent on a network of high-powered telescopes and space probes so further extraterrestrial evidence does not slip away.
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