Elite Team Tackles Deadly Asteroid Threat

Bruce Willis in Armageddon.
Bruce Willis in Armageddon.

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (SETI PR) — A six-week long research accelerator, championed by NASA’s Office of the Chief Technologist and hosted at the SETI Institute, is engaging young researchers from around the world to take on one of the truly existential threats to our species.

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New Software Helps in Detection of Asteroids

These photos show the relative size of three asteroids that have been imaged at close range by spacecraft. Mathilde (37 x 29 miles) (left) was taken by the NEAR spacecraft on June 27, 1997. Images of the asteroids Gaspra (middle) and Ida (right) were taken by the Galileo spacecraft in 1991 and 1993, respectively. Image Credit:  NASA/JPL/NEAR and Galileo missions
These photos show the relative size of three asteroids that have been imaged at close range by spacecraft. Mathilde (37 x 29 miles) (left) was taken by the NEAR spacecraft on June 27, 1997. Images of the asteroids Gaspra (middle) and Ida (right) were taken by the Galileo spacecraft in 1991 and 1993, respectively.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/NEAR and Galileo missions

AUSTIN, Texas (Planetary Resources PR) — A software application based on an algorithm created by a NASA challenge has the potential to increase the number of new asteroid discoveries by amateur astronomers.

Analysis of images taken of our solar system’s main belt asteroids between Mars and Jupiter using the algorithm showed a 15 percent increase in positive identification of new asteroids.

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NASA’s Busy, Successful Year in Space & On Earth

Orion splashed down safely in the Pacific after its first test flight. (Credit: NASA)
Orion splashed down safely in the Pacific after its first test flight. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2014, NASA took significant steps on the agency’s journey to Mars — testing cutting-edge technologies and making scientific discoveries while studying our changing Earth and the infinite universe as the agency made progress on the next generation of air travel.

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NASA Announces New Opportunities for Public Participation in Asteroid Grand Challenge

NASA LOGOWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Ten new projects are providing opportunities for the public to participate in NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, which accelerates the agency’s asteroid initiative work through innovative partnerships and collaborations.

The 10 new projects developed by SpaceGAMBIT were done in partnership with Maui Makers – a group that provides the space and tools to make new things on the island of Maui in Hawaii.

“SpaceGAMBIT and their partners have created an incredibly wide variety of projects that speak to the strong interest in asteroids and passion of the public to participate in space-related activities,” said Jason Kessler, program executive for the Asteroid Grand Challenge. “These projects will inspire NASA audiences and the broader community to learn and get involved.”

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Asteroid Initiative Synthesis Workshop Report Published

asteroid_synthesis_report_coverWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In 2013, NASA kicked off the Asteroid Redirect Mission and the Asteroid Grand Challenge, collectively known as the Asteroid Initiative. On June 18, we issued a Request for Information to seek innovative ideas that could help NASA refine the objectives of the Asteroid Initiative and initial ARM concepts, to explore alternative mission concepts, and to broaden participation in the mission and planetary defense. Those ides were discussed at a fall 2013 workshop. Today, NASA posted the final report summarizing the workshop discussion and recommendations.

An unprecedented response followed the release of the RFI: the agency received 402 responses, 40 percent of which were from individuals and members of the general public.

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Garver: Overwhelming Response to Asteroid Mission

Deputy NASA Administrator Lori Garver
Deputy NASA Administrator Lori Garver

Last week, Deputy Administrator Lori Garver met with reporters after giving a keynote address at the NewSpace 2013 Conference in San Jose, Calif.

In this excerpt from the discussion, Garver makes some opening remarks about NASA’s proposed Asteroid Retrieval Mission and its Grand Challenge to protect the Earth from asteroid impacts before taking questions.

Lori Garver: As we’ve announced today, we are really excited about the overwhelming response to the RFI because we have ourselves, we believe, not only a mission but the grand challenge that does offer opportunities for space development and for our space program that are so aligned with the nation’s goals and with our existing programs.

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