Is Congress Looking for Aliens?

Science committee searches for ways to better find life in the solar system.

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The House Committee on Science, Space and Technology spent its valuable time Wednesday to discuss what methods are being used to determine if life exists elsewhere in the universe.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich wants a colony on the moon and NASA plans to grow turnips and basil there just in case.

So its no wonder that the House of Representatives would be spending valuable time examining whether life exists elsewhere in our solar system or beyond.

Wednesday, the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology is holding a hearing to examine "what methods are being used to determine if any of [the] planets may harbor life."

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Witnesses include astrobiologists from NASA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Library of Congress.

To be fair, the hearing titled "Astrobiology: Search for Biosignatures in our Solar System and Beyond" isn't simply about tracking extraterrestrial life. The hearing focuses on how the U.S. Government can better track any sign of life out there from molecules to bacteria.

A committee aide says the hearing is nothing more than a chance for Congress to provide oversight on how NASA conducts astrobiology research.

NASA is expected to reveal a road map in 2014 that will act as a best practices guide for how to look for life in the solar system.

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But the search for life in outer space comes at a rather inconvenient time. With an approval rating of just 9 percent, it's no wonder, Congress wants to blast out of this world. But with just seven working days left this year, Congress has a long list of other items to finish up on planet earth if it doesn't want to alienate its constituents.

This Congress is competing for the title as one of the least efficient bodies ever. The House and Senate are divided over a five-year farm bill, a budget deal is hanging in the balance and the House has yet to vote on a single immigration bill.

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