Jodie Foster keeps real-life hunt for aliens alive


Actor who played a scientist in sci-fi movie Contact makes donation to the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute

She played a scientist who uncovers evidence of extraterrestrial life in 1997's Contact. Yesterday it was revealed that the Oscar-winning actor Jodie Foster is engaged in a real-life bid to prove that we are not alone in the universe after the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute in California said she had made a donation to help it continue its work in the face of funding cuts.

  1. Contact
  2. Production year: 1997
  3. Country: USA
  4. Cert (UK): PG
  5. Runtime: 150 mins
  6. Directors: Robert Zemeckis
  7. Cast: Angela Bassett, James Woods, Jodie Foster, John Hurt, Matthew McConaughey, Rob Lowe, Tom Skerritt
  8. More on this film

Foster's undisclosed donation helped the organisation, which monitors radio transmissions in the hope of finding transmissions from other worlds, to raise $223,000 – exceeding its $200,000 goal – from 2,557 donors. The fund-raising campaign was launched after US federal and California state cuts left the institute facing a severe shortfall. SETI was forced to halt operations in April, but its 42 radio telescope dishes (named the Allen Telescope Array or ATA) will now be pointed once again towards outer space.

"It is good to go and we need to return it to the task of searching newly discovered planetary worlds for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence," Foster told AFP. She said the telescopes "could turn science fiction into science fact, but only if it is actively searching the skies. I support the effort to bring the array out of hibernation."

Apollo 8 mission astronaut Bill Anders, who also made a donation, said it was "absolutely irresponsible of the human race not to be searching for evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence".

"We are so grateful to our donors," said SETI co-founder Tom Pierson. "We believe we will be back on the air in September."

California-based SETI is now looking towards other options to secure its long-term future – it needs an estimated $5m to operate for the next two years but has struggled to secure cash after failing to unearth any sign of the existence of aliens in its 26 years of operation. One potential source of funds could be a government contract to track orbiting space debris that could damage satellites and the international space station.

array: szyk (bojowy)

bid: próba (zdobycia)

donation: dotacja

donor: ofiarodawca

engaged in: zaangażowany w

exceed: przekraczać

extraterrestrial: pozaziemski

make a donation: dać dotację

reveal: ujawniać

shortfall: niedobór, brak

undisclose: ujawniać

unearth: wyjawiać

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