NASA announced this Thursday that it has established a study group that will analyze Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (FANI or UAP in English) starting this fall. to advance “scientific understanding” of potential discoveries and future data collection and use.
The objective of this independent study on FANI, a concept that has displaced the name UFO (Unidentified Flying Object), because it has become outdated, is based on “the observation of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena.” from a scientific perspective.”
“The limited number of UAP observations makes it difficult to draw scientific conclusions about the nature of such events,” NASA said in a statement, adding that these unidentified phenomena in the atmosphere “are of interest to both national security and aviation safety”.
In that context, “establishing which events are natural provides a key first step to identify or mitigate such phenomena (…) and “ensure the safety of aircraft.”
In any case, the US government’s space agency has said that “there is no evidence that UAPs are of extraterrestrial origin.”
“NASA believes the tools of scientific discovery are powerful and apply here too,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
It will be directed by David Spergel and Daniel Evans
Zurbuchen explained that there is access to a wide range of observations of the Earth from space, and that “that is the lifeblood of scientific research.”
“We have the tools and equipment that can help us improve our understanding of the unknown. That is the very definition of what Science is. That is what we do,” the scientist highlighted.
The agency has recalled that it is not part of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force of the United States Department of Defense, nor of its successor, the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group. However, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, better known as NASA, maintains a close relationship with the US government regarding “how to apply the tools of science to shed light on the nature and origin of unidentified aerial phenomena.” “.
The space agency’s independent study team will be led by astrophysicist David Spergel, president of the Simons Foundation in New York, and Daniel Evans, deputy administrator for research in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.
The study will take around nine months to complete.
“Given the paucity of observations, our first task is simply to collect the most robust data set we can,” Spergel said.
The study, which will rely on expert advice, is expected to take around nine months to complete.
“In accordance with NASA’s principles of transparency and scientific integrity, this report will be shared publicly,” added Evans, who assured that “all NASA data is available to the public”.
“We take that obligation seriously and make it (the data) easily accessible so that anyone can view or study it,” he insisted.
Although not related to this new study, NASA has an astrobiology program that focuses on the origins, evolution and distribution of life beyond Earth.
From studying water on Mars to probing promising “ocean worlds” like Titan and Europa, NASA science missions are working together to find signs of life beyond Earth.