Example with a context:

Former astronaut John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, shared Stofan's optimism, predicting that signs of life will be found relatively soon both in our own solar system and beyond.

"I think we're one generation away in our solar system, whether it's on an icy moon or on Mars, and one generation [away] on a planet around a nearby star," Grunsfeld said during Tuesday's event.

I'm not sure what he really means by one generation away and how we should understand it.

  • 1
    I guess it's either a generation of spacecrafts or a generation of us, the people of Earth. I think it's the latter. generation: "1a. the number of years that usually pass between the birth of a person and the birth of that person’s children". Apr 9, 2015 at 10:14
  • Grunsfield means he doesn't think he will be among those who discover evidence of life on another planet/moon, but his children (or others of the same age) will. And I'm sure he means it'll be another generation (i.e. - his children's children) who will discover life somewhere beyond the solar system. The important bit being that he takes it for granted extraterrestrial life does exist, so finding it is just a matter of (relatively short) time. Apr 9, 2015 at 16:31

1 Answer 1


We're one generation away means we are at the distance (in time) of one generation.

  • welcome back! :)
    – Maulik V
    Apr 9, 2015 at 12:27

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