NASA gets serious about UFOs

i24NEWS - AFP

3 min read
The NASA logo on the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the United States, on May 20, 2020.
AP Photo/John Raoux, FileThe NASA logo on the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the United States, on May 20, 2020.

'We don’t know what makes up 95 percent of the universe. So there are things we don't understand'

NASA is officially joining the hunt for UFOs.

The US space agency announced on Tuesday – as part of its push toward high-risk, high-impact science – a new project by leading scientists to examine unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP).

According to AP News, the independent team will see how much information is publicly available on the matter and how much more is needed to understand the unexplained sightings. 

NASA’s space mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, acknowledged that some might see the space agency as “kind of selling out” by venturing into the controversial topic, but he strongly disagrees.

“Our strong belief is that the biggest challenge of these phenomena is that it’s a data-poor field,” Zurbuchen said.

The space agency is well placed not just to demystify UFOs and deepen scientific understanding, but also to find ways to mitigate the phenomena, a key part of its mission to ensure the safety of aircraft, he added.

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NASA considers the initiative as the first step in trying to explain mysterious sightings of UAPs. The study is set to last around nine months beginning this fall, and will be entirely open with no classified military data used.

Last month, Congress held a public hearing into UFOs, while a US intelligence report last year cataloged 144 sightings that it said could not be explained.

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“We have to approach all these questions with a sense of humility,” said astrophysicist David Spergel, who will lead the research.

“I spent most of my career as a cosmologist. I can tell you we don’t know what makes up 95 percent of the universe. So there are things we don’t understand.”

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