NASA has revealed the 16 people who will lead its study of unidentified aerial phenomena.
The independent UFO study is set to begin on Oct. 24 and will take nine months to look at "observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or as known natural phenomena."
The team will look at unclassified data from civilian government entities, commercial entities and other sources. Findings will be released publicly sometime in mid-2023, NASA said, with the study focusing on how this data can be analyzed to explore unidentified aerial phenomena.
"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 unidentified aerial phenomena is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what is happening in our skies."
According to the space agency, UAP concerns both national security and air safety.
The people chosen for the study are specialists across artificial intelligence, aerospace safety, science and data. Led by astrophysicist David Spergel as chair, the team is:
- Scott Kelly, former NASA astronaut, test pilot, fighter pilot and retired US Navy captain. He commanded the International Space Station's expeditions 26, 45 and 46 and piloted the Space Shuttle Discovery for the third Hubble Servicing Mission.
- Paula Bontempi, biological oceanographer, the second woman to lead the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island.
- Shelley Wright, associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego's Center for Astrophysics and Space Studies.
- Anamaria Berea, associate professor of computational and data science at George Mason University.
- Federica Bianco, joint professor in physics and astrophysics at the University of Delaware.
- Nadia Drake, who holds a doctorate in genetics and is a freelance science journalist and a National Geographic writer.
- David Grinspoon, senior scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona; adjunct professor of astrophysical and planetary science at the University of Colorado and Georgetown University.
- Matt Mountain, president of the Association of Universities for Research and Astronomy and a telescope scientist for Webb.
- Warren Randolph, deputy executive director of the Federal Aviation Administration's department of Accident Investigation and Prevention for Aviation Safety.
- Joshua Semeter, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Center for Space Physics at Boston University.
- Karlin Toner, acting executive director of the Federal Aviation Administration's Office of Aviation Policy and Plans, associate fellow for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
- Jen Buss, CEO of the Potomac Institute of Policy Studies.
- Walter Scott, executive vice president and CTO of Maxar, a space tech company that specializes in Earth intelligence and space infrastructure.
- Mike Gold, executive vice president of Civil Space and External Affairs at Redwire.
- Reggie Brothers, operating partner at AE Industrial Partners.