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Forum:Exploration: Asteroids, Moon and Mars
Topic:NASA's Asteroid Grand Challenge
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"NASA already is working to find asteroids that might be a threat to our planet, and while we have found 95 percent of the large asteroids near the Earth's orbit, we need to find all those that might be a threat to Earth," said NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver. "This Grand Challenge is focused on detecting and characterizing asteroids and learning how to deal with potential threats. We will also harness public engagement, open innovation and citizen science to help solve this global problem."

Grand Challenges are ambitious goals on a national or global scale that capture the imagination and demand advances in innovation and breakthroughs in science and technology. They are an important element of President Obama's Strategy for American Innovation.

"I applaud NASA for issuing this Grand Challenge because finding asteroid threats, and having a plan for dealing with them, needs to be an all-hands-on-deck effort," said Tom Kalil, deputy director for technology and innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. "The efforts of private-sector partners and our citizen scientists will augment the work NASA already is doing to improve near-Earth object detection capabilities."

Robert PearlmanB612 Foundation release
Statement from Ed Lu - CEO, B612 Foundation

This morning (June 18), The White House and NASA announced an ASTEROID GRAND CHALLENGE, "focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do with them." This directly mirrors the mission of the non-profit private B612 Foundation and our Sentinel Mission, and we strongly applaud NASA and the Obama Administration for their leadership in raising the visibility of this critical issue and for establishing detection of asteroids as a national priority. The Administration has called for a team "of the best and brightest" working on this together and we look forward to increased collaboration and partnership.

There are one million asteroids with the potential to impact Earth with energy large enough to obliterate any major city. We believe that the goal must be to find these one million asteroids — anything less, in our opinion, would not meet the intent of this Grand Challenge.

About the B612 Foundation
The B612 Foundation aims to build, launch, and operate the world's first privately funded deep space telescope mission to create the first comprehensive dynamic map of our inner solar system, identifying the current and future locations and trajectories of Earth crossing asteroids. The B612 Foundation believes that humanity can harness the power of science and technology to protect the future of civilization on this planet, while extending our reach into the solar system. Ball Aerospace, Boulder, CO, will design and build the Sentinel Space Telescope, with the same expert team that built the Spitzer and Kepler Space Telescopes. Sentinel will be ready for launch in 2018. The B612 Foundation has a Space Act Agreement with NASA, enabling data to be collected and sent back to Earth via NASA's Deep Space Network, which also will be used for tracking and navigation.

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