Join Dr. John Grant, Geologist at the Smithsonian Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, for an in-depth look at current and future robotic missions to Mars.
Carl Sagan, an American astronomer and public science spokesman, was born Nov. 9, 1934. Sagan was a planetary scientist at Cornell and an adviser to NASA during the early years of the space program (i.e., the 1960s and 70s). Another space program of sorts was being launched at the same time, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, and Sagan was involved in that as well. He was adamantly resistant to the idea that ET has already visited earth (“extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” is one of the more celebrated quotes from his later Cosmos series), but he was convinced that life, and probably intelligent life, existed elsewhere than Earth.