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NASA Will Study UFOs for the First Time – Lesson


An artist’s impression of a UFO flying through space. (Photo by Alfred Gescheidt/Getty Images)

NASA is putting together a team of scientists to get to the bottom of UFO sightings.

UFOs have fascinated humans for decades – or even longer – but only recently has the US government started to openly study the airborne craft. The US military has quietly investigated UFOs, but now the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is getting involved.

A new study will mark the first time that NASA has looked at the topic of UFOs – or UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) as they are now officially called. Since it has “space” in its name, some people may be surprised that NASA has never tried to explain the origin of these mysterious objects – now it has decided to do so. That doesn’t mean the agency thinks UAPs come from outer space. It recently said, “There is no evidence UAPs are extra-terrestrial in origin.” Whether UFOs are from space or planet Earth, maybe the new research will help bring some answers.

NASA’s UAP study team is set to begin its work in the fall. The group includes scientists who will focus on how to “collect new data and improve observations of UAPs.” Leading the researchers will be astrophysicist David Spergel, while Daniel Evans will manage the program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The program should last about nine months and cost no more than $100,000.

UFOs are a controversial topic, and one that many people are embarrassed to talk about. Some have suggested the new study could damage NASA’s reputation, but Thomas Zurbuchen, the agency’s associate administrator for science missions, disagrees. He said:

“NASA believes that the tools of scientific discovery are powerful … We have access to a broad range of observations of Earth from space – and that is the lifeblood of scientific inquiry. We have the tools and team who can help us improve our understanding of the unknown. That’s the very definition of what science is. That’s what we do.”


(Photo by: Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The scientists will collect information from lots of sources, such as members of the public, the government, companies, and other groups. Spergel says the first task is to gather as much data as possible and then figure out how to analyze it.

Meanwhile, Evans has said the results won’t be kept secret but will be revealed to everyone. He explained, “All of NASA’s data is available to the public … and we make it easily accessible for anyone to see or study.”

NASA says it will coordinate with other areas of the government on “how to apply the tools of science to shed light on the nature and origin of unidentified aerial phenomena.”

This isn’t the only UFO program in the United States government, these days. The Defense Department is investigating the matter from a military perspective. Its AOIMSG group is looking at whether the aircraft could pose a threat to US national security. In contrast, the NASA mission seems more focused on looking at the science behind unidentified flying objects.