NASA has launched a study of Unidentified Atmospheric Phenomena (also known as UAPs or UFOs) as part of a new push toward high-risk, high-impact science.
the main points:
- NASA considers this the first step in trying to explain mysterious weather scenes known as unknown weather phenomena.
- The nine-month study will see how much information is available to the public on this issue and how much is needed to make sense of the unexplained scenes
- Science mission chief says NASA is not avoiding potential ‘reputational risks’
The space agency announced Thursday, local time, that it is forming an independent team to find out how much information is available to the public on the matter and how much is needed to make sense of the unexplained scenes.
Specialists will also consider how best to use all this information in the future.
The chief of NASA’s science mission, Thomas Zurbuchen, acknowledged that the traditional scientific community might see NASA as a “sell-out” by venturing into the controversial topic, but he strongly disagreed.
“We are not shying away from stigmatization risks,” Dr. Zurbuchen said during an National Aeronautics and Space Administration webcast.
NASA considers this the first step in trying to explain the mysterious scenes in the sky that are officially known as unknown weather phenomena.
The study will begin in the northern fall and will last nine months, at a cost of no more than US$100,000 (US$140,000).
It will be completely open, with no confidential military data used.
NASA said the team will be led by astrophysicist David Spiergel, president of the Simmons Foundation for the Advancement of Scientific Research.
At a press conference, Professor Spergel said the only preconceived notion that goes into the study is that UAPs likely have multiple explanations.
“We should approach all these questions with a sense of humility,” said Professor Spergel.
“I have spent most of my career as a cosmologist.
ABC / wire
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