“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” Douglas Adams, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

Check out: Here’s How NASA Is Expanding Its Search For Alien Life






  • sustain – cause to continue for an extended period or without interruption
  • cargo – goods carried on a ship, aircraft, or motor vehicle
  • scope – the extent of the area or subject matter that something deals with or to which it is relevant
  • key – of crucial importance
  • participate – be involved; take part


Think about it

Answer the questions below.

  • What will NASA and its partner institutions be doing over the next five years?
  • What project will a team at SETI be focusing on?
  • In what ways are Europa, Ganymede, and Enceladus interesting from a scientific point of view?
  • In what way might rocks power life?
  • Do you think that intelligent life exists somewhere else in the universe?


Practice makes perfect

Fill in the blank spaces with the missing words. Use ONE word in each blank space.

________ the next five years, NASA and seven partner institutions will be taking on new projects to help paint a more complete picture about how life comes to be in the universe. The projects include preparing to bring ________ samples of the Martian terrain to Earth, investigating the role of comets and asteroids ________ delivering water and organic compounds around the solar system and researching how our own planet _________ managed to sustain life for so much of ________ history.


“The intellectual scope of astrobiology is vast, ________ understanding how our planet went from lifeless to living, ________ understanding how life has adapted to Earth’s harshest environments, ________ exploring other worlds with the most advanced technologies to search for signs of life,” said Mary Voytek, director of NASA’s astrobiology program.


Explore it more