NASA has announced plans to assemble a team of scientists to explore “unidentified aerial phenomena”, otherwise known as UFOs, despite concerns over reputational risk.
The US space agency said the focus will be on identifying available data to learn more about the mysterious sightings in the sky.
NASA Science Mission Chief Thomas Zurbuchen acknowledged that the mainstream science community may have concerns about UAP exploration.
However, he said: “We don’t mind reputational risk.
“Our firm belief is that the greatest challenge with these phenomena is that it is a data-poor field.”
He later added: “We are looking at the Earth in a new way, and we are also looking at the other side, towards the sky, in a new way,
“What we’re really trying to do here is launch an investigation with no results in mind.”
David Spergel, who previously headed the department of astrophysics at Princeton University, will lead the science team and Daniel Evans, principal investigator with NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, will also orchestrate the study.
A team of independent scientists is to be convened by the fall, where they will then spend around nine months putting together a public report on their findings.
NASA will spend “a few tens of thousands of dollars” to no more than $100,000 on the effort, Evans added.
“Unidentified phenomena in the atmosphere are of national security interest”
The announcement comes a year after the US government released a report, which was compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in conjunction with a Navy-led task force, detailing sightings, primarily by Navy personnel. navy, “unidentified aerial phenomena” or UAP. .
The report said U.S. defense and intelligence analysts lacked sufficient data to determine the nature of UAPs observed by military pilots, including whether they were advanced terrestrial, atmospheric, or extraterrestrial-origin technologies.
Last month, Pentagon officials also acknowledged that many sightings remained beyond the government’s ability to explain.
NASA said in a statement: “Unidentified phenomena in the atmosphere are of interest to both national security and aviation safety.
“Establishing which events are natural is a key first step in identifying or mitigating these phenomena, which is one of NASA’s goals to keep aircraft safe.”
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