Russian tech investor Yuri Milner has just invested $100 million to further scientific search of extraterrestrial life. He announced the Breakthrough Listen initiative alongside Stephen Hawking – a program that will undertake the biggest ever search for aliens by mankind. 

The Breakthrough Listen is a ten-year exploratory initiative which will utilize the world’s most powerful telescopes to scan the skies and possibly make contact with intelligent life in other galaxies. This initiative is termed to be the most intensive search for life beyond Earth so far.

Most of the funding will be utilized by the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) to get brains aka scientists on board, and to rent the biggest telescopes in Australia and West Virginia. The SETI was started by scientist Frank Drake in 1960, when they began sending radio signals to neighboring stars in search for life. Up until this massive investment, the organization relied on little investments from private companies and universities. This funding will allow scientists to search far deeper into the universe than ever before.

“In an infinite universe, there must be other occurrences of life. Somewhere in the cosmos, perhaps, intelligent life may be watching. Either way, there is no bigger question. It’s time to commit to finding the answer, to search for life beyond Earth. We must know. We are launching the most comprehensive search program ever. Breakthrough Listen takes the search for intelligent life in the universe to a completely new level,” Hawking said at the launch event in London

ABC reports that this scan would collect more data in one day than a year of any previous search, tracking the million closest stars, the centre of the Milky Way and the 100 closest galaxies.