In 2015 NASA Astrobiology Program gave a $1.108 million grant to the Center for Theological Inquiry. Why? They wanted to know how alien life could impact Christianity.
Announcing the NASA grant, CTI’s director William Storrar said, “The aim of this inquiry is to foster theology’s dialogue with astrobiology on its societal implications, enriched by the contribution of scholars in the humanities and social sciences. We are grateful to the NASA Astrobiology Program for making this pioneering conversation possible.”
But to put that another way, NASA made a million-dollar donation to a religious group so that it could study how the discovery of extraterrestrial life would impact Christianity.
As you may imagine, the decision was controversial. The Freedom From Religion Foundation wants NASA to revoke the grant but NASA gave no answer to their contacts.
The inquiry will extend over two academic years from 2015 to 2017.