NASA will launch a nine-month UFO study program on Monday, and the space agency has just announced the 16-person team that will search for the mysterious unidentified aerial phenomena.
In June, NASA first announced the UFO program and noted that research would focus on unclassified UFO reports and data. They also shared that the independent study group would be chaired by astrophysicist and president of the non-profit scientific organization, the Simons Foundation, David Spergel.
Along with Spergel will be 15 other team members announced by NASA on Friday, including former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly, University of California astrophysicist Shelley Wright, science journalist Nadia Drake, planetary scientist David Grinspoon and the chief technology officer of the Colorado-based Maxar space company. , Walter Scott. Other team members include scientists, Federal Aviation Administration regulators, and space industry experts.
“NASA has brought together some of the world’s leading scientists, data and artificial intelligence professionals, aerospace security experts, all with a specific assignment, which is to tell us how to apply the full focus of science and data to UAP. “Daniel Evans, the assistant assistant deputy administrator for research at NASA’s science mission directorate, said in a statement.
Evans is responsible for organizing the study and, when he announced the program in June, stressed the importance of collecting all available and unclassified data on UFOs in order to assess how future research might seek to ascertain the realities behind the UFOs. UFO reports.
“The first step in any investigation is to understand what data is at hand; that’s all this study is doing, ”Dr. Evans told reporters in June. “This is only the first step. What data is there out there that can be used? “
He added at the June press conference that NASA’s UFO study will have a budget of between “a few tens of thousands of dollars” and $ 100,000.
NASA’s UFO program was announced in the wake of the first U.S. Congressional hearings on UFOs, or Unidentified Airborne Phenomena, UAP, as the Defense Department calls them, in recent decades. In May, US intelligence officials briefed congressional leaders about more than 140 unexplained UAP sightings by military members since 2004 and an ongoing Pentagon investigation into the phenomena.
“We know our service members have encountered unidentified aerial phenomena,” US Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie said at the time, “and because UAPs pose potential security risks to the flight and for general safety, we are committed to concentrating on determining their origins ”.
Mr. Moultrie and other intelligence officials then briefed lawmakers in a close session that involved confidential information. The results of the Pentagon’s UAP survey can also be classified.
Dr Evans said NASA’s UFO research, by contrast, will use unclassified information and will be released to the public upon its conclusion.
“The findings will be made public along with NASA’s principles of transparency, openness and scientific integrity,” he said in a statement.