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NASA announces team to investigate UFOs

The independent group will consist of 16 scientists.

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The group includes top scientists, data and artificial intelligence professionals, aerospace security experts and a former astronaut. 

This team will work for nine months with unclassified data collected by government and civilian entities. The results will be published by the middle of next year in a separate, unclassified report.

"Unidentified aerial phenomena are of interest to both national security and aviation safety and the study aligns with one of NASA's goals to ensure aircraft safety," the space agency mentioned in a statement.

This new team will consist of nine men and seven women, including "some of the world's leading scientists, data and artificial intelligence professionals, and aerospace safety experts," according to the agency. 

"Exploring the unknown in space and the atmosphere is at the heart of who we are at NASA," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Understanding the data we have on unidentified aerial phenomena is critical to helping us draw scientific conclusions about what is happening in our skies," he added.

The UFO research group will be headed by David Spergel, president of the Simons Foundation, where he was the founding director of its Flatiron Institute for Computational Astrophysics.

The researchers will identify what data can potentially be analyzed to shed light on unidentified aerial phenomena. They will then recommend a roadmap for future cases. The study is scheduled to last nine months.

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