The money from Russian internet entrepreneur Yuri Milner goes toward the creation of a new program that uses the latest scientific methods and technology to jumpstart efforts at finding extraterrestrial life in space.
The “Breakthrough Initiatives” project also has the backing of British cosmologist Stephen Hawking. It will be part of the SETI Research Center at UC Berkeley and include researchers from the Northern California school, as well as Cambridge, and NASA.
Innovative technology the project will use includes signal scanning equipment that comb through so-called quiet zone for the existence of extraterrestrial life.
The half-a-century search for intelligent life in space has thus far yielded little results, but scientists believe that the money put up by Milner would lead to meaningful breakthroughs in the field.
Seth Shostak, Senior Astronomer and Director of the Center for Study Research at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California