The move marks the latest efforts of federal agencies to identify and understand potential threats caused by objects with unexplainable propulsion.
The study, focusing on identifying available data and how best to collect and study future ones, will begin early in the fall and is expected to take about nine months to complete, according to the U.S. space agency.
An independent science and analysis team will be led by astrophysicist David Spergel, president of the Simons Foundation and former department chair at Princeton University.
Given the “paucity of observations,” Spergel devoted to prioritize tracing clues of the most robust set of data from parties including civilians, government, non-profits, and companies.
“This report will be shared publicly,” said Daniel Evans, the assistant deputy associate administrator for research at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, who will also orchestrate the study.
“All of NASA’s data is available to the public—we take that obligation seriously—and we make it easily accessible for anyone to see or study,” he said.
The latest statement follows the May 17 public congressional hearing into UFO sightings, the first in the United States in over 50 years, during which Pentagon officials on May 17 showed lawmakers two videos of UAPs recorded by U.S. military personnel.
Although the testimonies ended with limited answers, sightings of unexplained lights by aviators had then drifted into the mainstream discussion since the past half-century.
The May hearing came less than a year after a key government report on UAPs—in which the Pentagon identified 144 UAP sightings dating back to 2004 but was only able to explain one. The sightings recorded by the military also include 11 “near-misses” with U.S. aircraft.
“The limited number of observations of UAPs currently makes it difficult to draw scientific conclusions about the nature of such events,” NASA said while unveiling the study, adding that “there is no evidence UAPs are extra-terrestrial in origin.”
Besides the study, NASA has been finding signs of habitable exoplanets and life beyond Earth, including their origins, evolution, and distribution. The federal agency said it also funds space-based research that focuses on advanced technology in outer space.