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What Is The SETI League, Inc.?

The SETI League is a grassroots, international alliance of amateur and professional radioastronomers, radio amateurs, microwave experimenters and digital signal processing enthusiasts, who have banded together in a systematic, scientific search of the heavens to detect credible evidence of intelligent, extra-terrestrial life.

The SETI League was founded in 1994 as a membership supported, nonprofit [501(c)(3)], educational and scientific organization, incorporated in the state of New Jersey. The all-volunteer group maintains offices in Little Ferry, NJ, and a research laboratory in Cogan Station, PA, funded solely by membership dues and contributions. It receives no support from any government. As of May 2009, The SETI League had just over 1500 members on seven continents, in 62 countries (including all 50 US states), and had 143 privately built radio telescopes on the air around the world.

The SETI League was established in response to Congress terminating all NASA SETI funding in October of 1993. Prior to that time, NASA maintained a modestly funded but scientifically credible SETI effort, out of an office at the NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View CA. NASA officially launched its SETI effort on October 12, 1992, the 500th anniversary of Columbus' first voyage of discovery. The project consumed one tenth of one percent of NASA's budget, or five cents per American per year. In canceling NASA SETI, Congress reduced the federal deficit by 0.0006%.

Several dozen SETI searches have been conducted since the first such investigation in 1960. They have turned up a handful of interesting microwave signals, which seemed to be emanating from space and could not be explained by any naturally occurring phenomena which we understand. The results to date are by no means conclusive, but sufficient evidence exists to justify continuing the effort. The SETI League is one of several groups worldwide dedicated to privatizing SETI.

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this page last updated 2 May 2009
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