NASA is commissioning an an independent study on unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs), which used to be known commonly as UFOs (unidentified flying objects).
The work will begin in the fall, last for about nine months, and first focus on whether the objects being reported occur in nature, according to a release.
"There is no evidence UAPs are extra-terrestrial in origin," NASA stressed in the release announcing the study.
The work will be done independent of the Department of Defense's Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force or its successor, the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group, and will use the tools of NASA to investigate the origins of the events, according to NASA.
"NASA believes that the tools of scientific discovery are powerful and apply here also," NASA's Thomas Zurbuchen said in a statement. "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."
Identifying the origins will help "identifying or mitigating such phenomena, which aligns with one of NASA's goals to ensure the safety of aircraft," according to the release.
Astrophysicist David Spergel, president of the Simons Foundation in New York City, will lead the study.
"Given the paucity of observations, our first task is simply to gather the most robust set of data that we can," Spergel said. "We will be identifying what data — from civilians, government, non-profits, companies — exists, what else we should try to collect, and how to best analyze it."
NASA's Daniel Evans will be orchestrating it on behalf of NASA, promising a public report.
"Consistent with NASA's principles of openness, transparency, and scientific integrity, this report will be shared publicly," Evans said. "All of NASA's data is available to the public — we take that obligation seriously — and we make it easily accessible for anyone to see or study."
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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