By John Ikani
NASA will soon be joining the investigation into Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), more commonly referred to as UFOs or unidentified flying objects.
The NASA study aims “to move the scientific understanding of UAPs forward” as well as look at how they impact national security and air safety, NASA said in a statement.
UFOs have attracted wide interest from enthusiasts who believe they could be linked to aliens or another world, but NASA said “there is no evidence UAPs are extra-terrestrial in origin” and the “limited number of observations” make it hard to draw any “scientific conclusions.”
“NASA believes that the tools of scientific discovery are powerful and apply here also. We have access to a broad range of observations of Earth from space – and that is the lifeblood of scientific inquiry,” NASA Headquarters Associate Administrator for Science Thomas Zurbuchen said.
“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.”
The project’s budget will be no more than $100,000, Dan Evans, the NASA official overseeing the study, told reporters Thursday, according to SpaceNews.
It will take about nine months to conduct the study, which will rely on data collected by governments, private companies, non-profit organizations and even civilians, NASA said.
NASA’s announcement comes less than a month after Congress held its first hearing on UFOs in more than 50 years.
A House subcommittee heard from United State defense intelligence officials in May after a report documented more than 140 UAPs reported by U.S. military pilots since 2004.
Those two intelligence officials are part of a Pentagon task force investigating UAPs.