The privately-funded B612 Foundation announced it will use its deep-space craft to place a solar-orbiting infrared telescope in space to map the path of every asteroid capable of devastating Earth. The Sentinel telescope will be launched into a heliocentric orbit sometime later this decade at a distance of 170 million miles from Earth. It will take 5.5 years to complete the initial scan of the estimated half million objects zooming through the inner solar system, but the telescope will remain on active duty for the next hundred years, charting their trajectory for changes.
There are other organizations watching the sky, like NASA’s Near-Earth Object program, which has logged nearly 10,000 objects (90 percent of the estimated objects larger than a half-mile across.) However, there are a half million more asteroids that have not been mapped and they are larger than the one that leveled the Tunguska region in northern Russia in 1908. (Anyone remember the Tunguska episodes from X-Files?)
The B612 Foundation boasts an impressive a group of former astronauts, space scientists, NASA Alums, and other concerned citizens of the solar system (hmm… I guess my invite must have been lost in the mail.) Click here for the full story.
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