Aliens could exist and they may even be on Earth already, said Dr. Helen Sharman, the first British person to ever visit space.

What happened: Sharman told Observer Magazine that alien life likely exists somewhere in the universe. She doesn’t doubt there’s something out there.

  • “Aliens exist, there’s no two ways about it.”
  • “There are so many billions of stars out there in the universe that there must be all sorts of different forms of life. Will they be like you and me, made up of carbon and nitrogen? Maybe not.”

Already here?: Sharman said there’s a chance aliens already exist on Earth, too.

  • Sharman: “It’s possible they’re here right now and we simply can’t see them.”

Her background: Sharman traveled to Mir, the Soviet space station, in 1991. She currently works at Imperial College, London, BBC News reports.

Context: “NASA rovers are trawling Mars for evidence of past or present life forms, but humankind’s endless fascination with extraterrestrial life forms has so far proved fruitless,” per CNN.

Bigger picture: Sharman said in her interview that visiting space taught her that people matter more than material goods, BBC News reports.

  • Sharman: “Up there we had all we needed to survive: the right temperature, food and drink, safety. I gave no thought to the physical items I owned on Earth. When we flew over specific parts of the globe, it was always our loved ones we thought of down below us.”