A Malaysian astrophysicist, Mazlan Othman, who heads the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs (Unoosa), is set to be tasked to coordinate humanity’s response if and when extraterrestrials make contact. Aliens that will land on earth would be directed to Mrs Othman.
The 58-year-old will set out the details of her proposed new role at a Royal Society conference in Buckinghamshire next week. She is expected to tell delegates that the proposal has been prompted by the recent discovery of hundreds of planets orbiting other starts, which is thought to make the discovery of extraterrestrial life more probable than ever before.
According to Othman, the continued search for extraterrestrial communication sustains the hope that some day human kind will received signals from extraterrestrials. We should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject. The UN is a ready-made mechanism for such coordination.
Professor Richard Crowther, an expert in space law at the UK space agency said that Othman is absolutely the nearest thing to be the first point of contact for aliens. Opinion is divided about how future extraterrestrial visitors should be greeted. Under the Outer Space Treaty on 1967, which Unoosa oversees, UN members agreed to protect Earth against contamination by alien species by “sterilising” them.
Though Othman is understood to support a more tolerant approach, Professor Stephen Hawking has warned that alien interlopers should be treated with caution. He said that they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. And the outcome for us would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.