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NASA now has a team looking into UFOs

This new NASA task force will have a team of experts tackling UFOs — and whether they’re real or not

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Illustration by Zoë Petersen, Deseret News

NASA seems to be taking this UFO business more seriously.

On Thursday, the space agency announced it is establishing a team of independent researchers to study the unidentified aerial phenomena, or UAPs, from a scientific perspective.

“NASA believes that the tools of scientific discovery are powerful and apply here also,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for science at NASA headquarters in Washington, per a press release.

“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.”

Led by David Spergel, an astrophysicist and president of the Simons Foundations, the study will span nine months, with a team of “experts in the scientific, aeronautics and data analytics communities” to analyze the available data, create roadmaps for future collection and use the information to understand the phenomena better.

This study could cost NASA up to $100,000, according to CNN.

“Given the paucity of observations, our first task is simply to gather the most robust set of data that we can,” said Spergel, per the press release.

“We will be identifying what data — from civilians, government, nonprofits, companies — exists, what else we should try to collect, and how to best analyze it.”

According to CNN, the space agency’s ultimate goal has been to find life outside of Earth — whether it’s on Mars through the Perseverance rover or through this study of UFOs.

“We’re looking for the question of whether certain environments are in fact part of, if you want, the ladder of life that got us to where we are,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters, per the report.

“There’s many times where something that looked almost magical turned out to be a new scientific effect,” Zurbuchen said.

Last year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Pentagon’s UAP task force issued a report that suggested there was no evidence of extraterrestrial beings, but it did not explain most of the incidents, per CBS News.

Congress is also asking questions as the House Intelligence subcommittee had its first hearing on UAPs after 400 reported incidents were recorded, as the Deseret News previously reported. The military even has a step-by-step procedure on how to report citing.