NASA managers today said published media reports suggesting the agency plans to read the minds of potential terrorists go too far and ignore the facts and science behind the research.
The articles were based on a NASA presentation, which served as talking points for a meeting with Northwest Airlines in December 2001. The presentation was in response to the call from the Federal Government for all agencies to look inward and find what could be done to help in the war on terrorism.
"NASA does not have the capability to read minds, nor are we suggesting that would be done," said Robert Pearce, Director, NASA's Strategy and Analysis Division in the Office of Aerospace Technology in Washington. "Our scientists were asked to think outside the box with regards to ideas that could aid the nation in the war on terrorism and that's what they are doing. We have not approved any research in this area and because of the sensitivity of such research, we will seek independent review before we do."
The information contained in the presentation identified research and development challenges that NASA is currently aware of in the information technology arena, and the agency offered some limited thoughts and proposed possible solutions in this field. Some of the ideas will take several years of effort to establish, if there is a practical application.