Experts: China is pulling ahead in race to identify extraterrestrials

If there’s any first contact to be made with alien civilizations, researchers suspect that FAST will be the instrument that does it

With China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) in place, astronomers say the country is positioning itself as the new leader in the search for extraterrestrial life.

Traditionally, SETI research has been a largely Western pursuit, scientists told Space.com. But FAST bucks that trend — if there’s any first contact to be made with alien civilizations, researchers suspect that FAST will be the instrument that does it.

To some, like scientific author Michael Michaud, it’s not surprising that China would emerge as the leader of the search for extraterrestrial life, given the singular focus its government can lend to projects like FAST.

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