NASA to study Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

NASA recently launched an independent study of unidentified aerial phenomena.

Key facts

  • A new team of scientists and experts are set to study unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), formerly known as UFOs.
  • Its aim is to lay groundwork for the future research on the nature of UAPs for NASA and other agencies.
  • The team consists of former astronauts Scott Kelly and 15 other members having backgrounds in fields like computational data science, physics, astrophysics, astronomy, oceanography and others.
  • It would be led by astrophysicist David Spergel, who is the president of Simons Foundation and the former chairman of the Princeton University’s astrophysics department.
  • The team is expected to submit the finished report in mid-2023.
  • The research will focus only on unclassified data. It will identify how the data collected by civilian government entities, commercial entities and other sources can be used for understanding UAPs.
  • It will then provide strategy for potential UAP data analysis, which in turn will help in the systematic collection of data and investigation of UAPs.
  • This study is separate from the work of the Defence Department group that is currently investigating UAP incidents.

What is unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP)?

The unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP) is any aerial phenomenon that cannot be immediately identified or explained. According to the senior defence and intelligence officials who testified in the US Congress in May 2022, there have been 400 sightings of UAPs till date and many of them are not identified as advanced earthly technologies, atmospherics or something alien. One of these airborne object exhibited speed and manoeuvrability that surpassed the capabilities of known aviation technology. It also did not have any visible means of propulsion or flight control surfaces. A report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Pentagon’s UAP Task Force in 2021 concluded that there is no evidence to suggest that these objects originated from foreign adversary or were extraterrestrial in nature.

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