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NASA Kicks Off Study on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena

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Unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs), popularly known as UFOs, are of interest for both national security and air safety and NASA’s independent study on UAPs aligns with one of the agency’s goals to ensure the safety of aircraft. The study began on October 24, 2022, and will be performed by 16 team members.

An UAP from a declassified video captured by a U.S. Navy aircraft. Image credit: U.S. Navy.

“Exploring the unknown in space and the atmosphere is at the heart of who we are at NASA,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters.

“Understanding the data we have surrounding UAPs is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what is happening in our skies.”

“Data are the language of scientists and makes the unexplainable, explainable.”

Over the course of nine months, members of NASA’s UAP team will lay the groundwork for future study on the nature of UAPs for the agency and other organizations.

To do this, they will identify how data gathered by civilian government entities, commercial data, and data from other sources can potentially be analyzed to shed light on UAPs.

They will then recommend a roadmap for potential UAP data analysis by the agency going forward.

The study will focus solely on unclassified data. A full report containing the team’s findings will be released to the public in mid-2023.

The NASA official responsible for orchestrating the study is Daniel Evans, the assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

“NASA has brought together some of the world’s leading scientists, data and artificial intelligence practitioners, aerospace safety experts, all with a specific charge, which is to tell us how to apply the full focus of science and data to UAPs,” Dr. Evans said.

“The findings will be released to the public in conjunction with NASA’s principles of transparency, openness, and scientific integrity.”

The members of NASA’s team on UAPs are:

(i) David Spergel, chair NASA’s independent study on UAPs, is the president of the Simons Foundation where he was the founding director of its Flatiron Institute for Computational Astrophysics.

(ii) Anamaria Berea is an associate professor of Computational and Data Science at George Mason University. Her research is focused on the emergence of communication in complex living systems and on data science applications in astrobiology, for the science of both biosignatures and technosignatures.

(iii) Federica Bianco is a joint professor at the University of Delaware and a senior scientist at the Multi-city Urban Observatory. She is a cross-disciplinary scientist with a focus on using data-science to study the Universe and find solutions to urban-based problems on Earth.

(iv) Paula Bontempi a professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island.

(v) Reggie Brothers is the operating partner at AE Industrial Partners.

(vi) Jen Buss is the CEO of the Potomac Institute of Policy Studies. She is nationally recognized as an authority in her field for science and technology trends analysis and policy solutions.

(vii) Nadia Drake is a freelance science journalist and contributing writer at National Geographic.

(viii) Mike Gold is the executive vice president of Civil Space and External Affairs at Redwire.

(ix) David Grinspoon is a senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute and serves as a frequent advisor to NASA on space exploration.

(x) Scott Kelly is a former NASA astronaut, test pilot, fighter pilot, and retired U.S. Navy captain.

(xi) Matt Mountain is the president of the Association of Universities for Research and Astronomy (AURA).

(xii) Warren Randolph is the deputy executive director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Accident Investigation and Prevention for Aviation Safety department.

(xiii) Walter Scott is the executive vice president and chief technology officer of Maxar, a space technology company that specializes in earth intelligence and space infrastructure.

(xiv) Joshua Semeter is a professor of electrical and computer engineering as well as the director of the Center for Space Physics at Boston University. He researches interactions between Earth’s ionosphere and the space environment.

(xv) Karlin Toner is the acting executive director of the FAA’s Office of Aviation Policy and Plans.

(xvi) Shelley Wright is an associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Studies. She specializes in galaxies, supermassive black holes and building optical and infrared instruments for telescopes using adaptive optics such as integral field spectrographs.

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This article is based on text provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Source : Breaking Science News

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