UFO Study Led by Former Astronaut, NASA Group Announced by U.S. Space Agency

by Emily Morgan
Photo by: Geraint Rowland Photography

NASA recently announced it had chosen 16 individuals to participate in the highly-anticipated study of unidentified flying objects (UFOs) and other odd aerial phenomena. 

The study will begin on Monday, October 23. For the next nine months, participants will examine and study previous observations and determine how to analyze data regarding UFOs in the future. 

However, it’s also important to note that the study will not determine if past reports of UFOs were valid. In contrast, it will better help us understand what observations will be needed in future events to understand the phenomena better.

“Exploring the unknown in space and the atmosphere is at the heart of who we are at NASA,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, an associate administrator at NASA, in an official statement. “Understanding the data we have surrounding unidentified aerial phenomena is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what is happening in our skies. Data is the language of scientists and makes the unexplainable, explainable.”

Former NASA astronaut joins UFO study, known for spending the most time in outer space

In addition, the new members of the study hail from different backgrounds and include former astronaut Scott Kelly. In the past, Kelly served as a pilot of the Space Shuttle Discovery. He also once held the record for spending the most clocked time in outer space. 

Kelly has long believed that UFO sightings from Earth are not just one particular type of alien-related phenomenon. However, he once revealed to news outlets in 2018 that there is likely life beyond Earth.

“I think there is probably life in the universe. Hopefully intelligent life, but I don’t think they visit planet Earth,” Kelly said at the time. 

The NASA official responsible for organing the study is Daniel Evans. Evans is the assistant deputy associate administrator for research at the space agency’s Science Mission Directorate. In addition, the independent study team is chaired by David Spergel, president of the Simons Foundation.  

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

NASA also believes taking time to study unidentified objects is vital for both air safety and America’s national security. The space agency said without having access to this critical data, it is nearly impossible to validate a sighting. It’s also impossible to determine what’s actually happening in the skies. 

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