A group of experts provided their own estimates as to when actual proof of alien life will be discovered. According to the scientists, it is possible that traces of alien life will be found on Mars or other planets soon.

Aside from expanding humans’ reach into space, one of the goals of spaceflight missions is to uncover the truth about the existence of alien life. In fact, NASA’s current mission on Mars, which is spearheaded by the Curiosity rover, involves experiments that are geared towards finding traces of microbial organisms.

Recently, the rover conducted a scientific experiment to test soil samples on the Red Planet for evidence of extraterrestrial life.

With the ongoing search for aliens, a group of experts chimed in to provide their own estimated timelines as to when humans will finally be able to discover alien life. The experts made their predictions during the current International Astronautical Congress being held in Washington.

One of the experts who gave her own estimate was Claire Webb, a doctoral student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. According to Webb, humans will come across alien life by 2024, which is based on the estimate provided by astronomer Frank Drake, who founded the collective scientific effort for the search of extraterrestrial intelligence.

“He said 2024,” Webb said during a panel discussion according to Space.com “I think he’s a pretty good authority, so I’m going with that.”

Mike Garret, the director of the U.K.’s Jordell Bank Observatory provided a slightly similar timeline as to when agencies will be able to discover traces of extraterrestrial life on Mars.

“I wish I could say tomorrow, but that’s being just over-optimistic,” he said. “But I think there’s a good chance of discovering life on Mars within the next 5 to 10 to 15 years. I think that really has to be a goal, that would set us on a course to do more interesting things in the area.”

Other scientists are hoping that the search will successfully end within their lifetimes. This includes Pete Worden, the executive director for Breakthrough Initiatives and the moderator for the conference’s panel.

“I like the idea of my birthday," he said. "So my 80th birthday, which is 10 years from now."