NASA Launches Scientific Study of UFOs

Oct 28, 2022

This week, 16 experts will begin a study of UFOs. The team includes former NASA astronaut Scott Kelly. The team also includes professors and scientists. NASA picked the people on the team.

David Spergel will lead the squad. He is an astrophysicist, Simons Foundation president, and MacArthur “Genius” Fellow. The team will follow a plan created by Daniel Evans. He's a senior NASA researcher.  

“UFO” is a term for what are now officially called UAPs. That stands for unidentified aerial phenomena. The study will focus on putting together publicly available data about UAPs. The team will try to figure out how to gather future data. They'll also determine how the data could be used. NASA will publish a report with the results next year.

More US officials say we need to understand UAPs better. They say it's a matter of national security. NASA’s announcement follows the first congressional hearing on UAPs in more than 50 years. It was held in May. In July, the Pentagon said it would create an office to track reports of UAPs. 

In May, congressional members reviewed a Pentagon report from June 2021. It showed 144 UAP sightings by US Navy pilots in 2004. The UAPs had unusual flight behaviors. The UAP flights couldn't be explained by existing technologies. 

NASA officials said at the moment there is no evidence UAPs come from space. That possibility is not ruled out, though. One NASA official said, “Frankly, I think there’s new science to be discovered.” He expects the study will be the starting point for a future research program.   


Photo by Albert Antony courtesy of Unsplash.

Based on evidence from the story, which description of “UFO” makes the most sense? (Common Core RI.5.1; RI.6.1)
a. a flying object that comes from outer space
b. an object in the sky that is a threat to national security and air safety
c. something in the sky that is currently unexplainable
d. an alien spacecraft
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