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The space agency has been scouring the universe in the search for extraterrestrials, and optimistically scientists at NASA believe that every failed attempt draws them a step closer to finding aliens.
Missions such as Kepler have discovered thousands of planets across the Milky Way, yet these are described as NASA as a “motley, teeming multitude: hot Jupiters, gas giants, small, rocky worlds and mysterious planets larger than Earth and smaller than Neptune”.
The space agency says that it is still searching for the elusive planet which they are sure could host life.
And every step is bringing them closer.
NASA said in a statement: “As we prepare to add many thousands more to the thousands found already, the search goes on for evidence of life – and for a world something like our own.
“Future space telescopes will be able to analyse the light from some of these planets, searching for water or a mixture of gases that resembles our own atmosphere.
“We will gain a better understanding of temperatures on the surface.
“As we continue checking off items on the habitability list, we’ll draw closer and closer to finding a world bearing recognisable signs of life.”
NASA credits Europe for helping to narrow down the search thanks to the European Space Agency’s (ESA’s) Gaia satellite.
The satellite was launched in July 2013 and has already mapped an astonishing 1.7 billion stars through the Milky Way.
It has helped to build on NASA’s Kepler telescope by prompting a reassessment of star sizes to learn whether some might be larger, smaller, dimmer or brighter than scientists had thought.
Gaia helped to discover many stars were brighter than previously thought, which in turn would mean the planet’s, found by Kepler, orbiting a larger star will also be bigger too.
Eric Mamajek, the deputy program chief scientist for NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program, said: ”Gaia has improved distances and has improved assessments of how bright a star is, and how big a planet is.
“The whole issue has always been, how well do we understand the star? This is just another chapter of that ongoing story.”