We are now $100 million closer to finding out if aliens are more like Marvin the Martian or the scary one that chased Sigourney Weaver around a space ship for two hours. A Russian billionaire named Yuri Milner and world-renowned scientist Stephen Hawking are teaming up to find new life in space.

Milner, whose worth roughly $3 billion, is spending $100 million of his own cash on the project called Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI, which has actually been around since the 1980s though funding has been sparse in recent years.


The money is being used to rent two massive telescopes the size of football fields, one in West Virginia and one in Australia. The telescopes will be searching for signals of intelligent life over the next 10 years.

“Our search will be 100 times better than any previous search for intelligent life in the universe,” Geoff Marcy said, who is part of the project.

Milner is a fan of space and is willing to risk a pretty hefty chunk of change on this project, but he seems confident.

“I feel we collectively as human beings have a responsibility to get an answer to that question. We have the equipment. We have the engineers. We can write the software,” Milner said when asked if he believes we are alone in the universe.