If we discovered aliens, would you look up from your phone?
NASA's new administrator has called on scientists to begin investigating unidentified phenomena, but would it matter?
What would it mean to you if we discovered aliens? Our lead story today is all about what the chief of NASA is saying about that possibility, while also not ruling out it could be something made with human hands (China, Russia, Batman).
“I have talked to those Navy pilots and they are sure that they saw something real,” NASA’s newly appointed administrator, Bill Nelson, recently told CNN.
Our lead story in this daily dispatch explores this moment, which feels like the end of one era just before the dawn of the next. Keep scrolling down to read more. 👇
I’m Nick Lucchesi, an editor for Inverse, where we aim to mix science and culture to make you a little smarter about your world. It’s Wednesday.
One thing about Monday’s email — A few readers took offense to my dismissal of the conspiracy theory that microchips are surreptitiously being inserted into people’s bodies when they receive the Covid-19 vaccine. I don’t know what to tell you, other than definitely hit “unsubscribe” at the bottom of this email if you’re offended by the rejection of conspiracy theories that don’t have any evidence.
Mailbag — Last week we asked you to share some of your weirdest stories about flying in your dreams. (It can really be helpful when you’re awake.) Below are a few more memorable submissions:
As a child, I flew like Superman. I would launch from a rooftop and glide over the town and the countryside. It was beautiful. After I learned to fly a paraglider, my dreams were more realistic and included flying my wing at known locations, as well as some I could only have dreamt. In real life, I have flown over mountains and glaciers in all parts of the world. I am lucky to be a lucid dreamer. — Peter
I would levitate out of harm’s way. What truly was interesting is I decided this was fun and repeatedly put myself in danger to escape! I woke up laughing out loud, with glee! —Roxanne
I was hiking up a mountain trail, and as I approached the summit I was standing outside of myself and saw that I was in a line with people. As each person reached the summit, they transformed into a bird and flew off the top of the mountain. I was anxious as I climbed higher, but I didn’t know how to transform into a bird — and I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I reached the peak and I became more confident I could do it. I could transform into a bird. I didn’t have to do anything except allow the process to happen. I reached the top of the summit. It was my turn. I felt peaceful and calm as I jumped off the edge. I became an eagle. — Debra
This week’s question is going to get some weird responses, I think, but let’s try it. What would it mean to you if we discovered proof of intelligent alien life? Send your thoughts — no more than 100 words, please — to email@example.com. If you’re reading this on email, just hit reply. We’ll publish some of our favorites soon.
A tech tip before we jump in: Gmail users, make sure you never miss an edition by dragging the email version of this daily dispatch to your Primary tab. Here’s a GIF that shows you how:
With the anticipated release of the Pentagon UFO report just days away, these unidentified flying objects have become a public obsession — so much so that even NASA can no longer ignore the rising interest in unraveling the mystery.
During an interview with CNN, NASA’s newly appointed administrator, Bill Nelson, expressed interest in finding out what these flying objects that have appeared in Navy pilot videos are all about.
NASA has long stayed out of discussions regarding unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), but now it seems the space agency is forced to take part in the conversation, which could lead to removing the stigma over researching this aerial mystery.
More in the world of NASA:
- Europa may have this key factor for alien life
- Why NASA's return to Venus could help save the Earth
- Why is NASA sending 2,000 water bears and 128 squid to space?
Geologist Birger Schmitz doesn’t just look for ordinary rocks. The Lund University professor trots the globe in search of millions or billions of year-old dust from space.
His travels have recently taken him to California, Sweden, China, and Russia, collecting 10,000 kilograms of cosmic sedimentary rock from 15 different windows of time over the past 500 million years of Earth-fallen meteorites.
Schmitz tells Inverse the purpose of this extensive search was to trace the origins of meteorites. Instead of finding answers, though, Schmitz and his colleagues only came up with more questions. And it’s causing a rethink to the origin stories of space rocks and the history of Earth.
More on meteorites:
- Vesta: An alien rock on Earth reveals our Solar System's violent history
- Perseverance: How meteorites on Earth informed NASA’s Mars mission
- A Sahara desert meteorite older than Earth tells a piece of our origin story
Reviewed: The Aston Martin Vantage Roadster — Thanks to an infusion of cash and tech from Mercedes-AMG, this Aston exists. And thank goodness, because the world is a better place for it, writes Jordan Golson:
I was driving north on I-5 toward Orange County when a maniac pulled up next to me and began waving frantically.
I wondered if the rear end of my car, a brilliant yellow Aston Martin Vantage Roadster, was on fire, and he was trying to let me know about it. But no — instead, he showed me his Dodgers cap, and I began laughing, gave him a thumbs-up, and goosed it. Easy triple-digits quickly put space between me and my new fan.
Clearly, with my long red beard, red hair, and my stunning Aston Martin drop-top, he thought I was World Series champion Justin Turner of the LA Dodgers. I wasn't, but I was happy to give the fellow a thrill.
More deep dives on cars of the future:
- 2021 Mustang Mach-E: It fixes 2 problems keeping me away from the Mustang
- BMW's new electric SUV is the eye-popping car of the future
- The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the most beautiful EV available. Look.
Loki is Marvel's best Disney+ show so far — Here's why Marvel's new streaming series is worth checking out, according to a group of entertainment writers who assessed the show ahead of its release. Here’s a snippet of the group review by Jake Kleinman, Ryan Britt, Dais Johnston, and Alex Welch:
The Marvel series about everyone’s favorite God of Mischief premieres June 9 on Disney+, and here at Inverse, we were lucky enough to see the first two episodes early.
That’s not quite enough to write an actual review, but we still have plenty of opinions about Loki to share. So here are four early reactions to Marvel’s new show from the Inverse TV and Movies team.
Go all-in on Loki:
- Is Loki genderfluid? “It's always been there,” Tom Hiddleston says
- Doctor Strange 2 writer says Loki is required watching
- 'Loki' Episode 1 release date, start time, trailer, and Disney+ schedule
- Loki could give Marvel fans the MCU's weirdest romance, head writer hints
- Loki is Marvel’s biggest challenge yet for one nerdy reason
- Loki will finally solve the worst part of Avengers: Endgame
- 41 Loki leaks reveal chaos and Kang ahead for the new Marvel series
Move over, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk — Richard Branson may be the first of the space firm founders to actually make it to space himself.
Blue Origin announced Monday that Bezos, its founder, would fly on the firm’s first crewed mission scheduled for July 20. But later that day, Parabolic Arc reported that Virgin Galactic is planning to send Branson on a suborbital flight over the July 4 holiday weekend.
- Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos set to beat Elon Musk to space
- SpaceX: launch date and how to fly on Axiom Space civilian flights
- New ocean spaceport reveals SpaceX's next chapter
- About the newsletter: Do you think it can be improved? Have a story idea? Want to share a story about the time you met an astronaut? Send those thoughts and more to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Before we go, happy birthday (🎂) to these folks: Michael J. Fox (60), Natalie Portman (40), Johnny Depp (58), Jackie Mason (90), Aaron Sorkin (60). (Source: AP.)