B612 Foundation to Announce First Privately Funded Deep Space Mission


Who: The B612 Foundation

What: Press Conference to Launch the B612 Foundation and Sentinel Space Telescope Mission-the first privately funded deep space mission.

When: Thursday, June 28, 2012 — 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM (PT)

Where: Morrison Planetarium, California Academy of Sciences, 55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco, CA, in Golden Gate Park. (Pay Parking in CA Academy Garage)

Announcement: On June 28, 2012, the B612 Foundation will announce its plans to build, operate and launch the world’s first privately funded deep space mission–a space telescope to be placed in orbit around the Sun. We will create the first comprehensive dynamic map of our inner solar system showing the current and future locations and trajectories of Earth-crossing asteroids, paving the way to protect the Earth from future impacts and opening up the Solar System to future exploration.

Speakers at the June 28 Press Conference:

  • Ed Lu, Chairman & CEO,former Space Shuttle/ISS/Soyuz Astronaut
  • Rusty Schweickart, Chairman Emeritus,Lunar Module Pilot, Apollo 9
  • Scott Hubbard, Project Architect,Stanford University, former Dir., NASA Ames
  • Harold Reitsema, Mission Director,former Dir. Science Mission Dev., Ball Aerospace

The B612 Foundation (www.b612foundation.org) 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. Mapping the great unknown of the inner solar system is the first step to opening up this next frontier. 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.

  • Planetary Resources, Inc. has said space telescopes can be made for one to two orders cheaper than the price charged now by following a more commercial approach to their construction, a la SpaceX.
    I give support for this in this blog post:

    Low cost development and applications of the new NRO donated telescopes, Page 4.

    The key facts are that ground scopes are 50 to 100 times cheaper than corresponding space scopes, and the electronics for the space scopes can be of comparable cost to those of the ground scopes.

    Then organizations such as B612 and PRI and private foundations can collaborate to provide private funding to build such scopes at markedly reduced costs.

    Bob Clark