NASA Selects Top 96 Asteroid Initiative Ideas

This conceptual image shows NASA’s Orion spacecraft approaching the robotic asteroid capture vehicle. The trip from Earth to the captured asteroid will take Orion and its two-person crew an estimated nine days. (Credit: NASA)
This conceptual image shows NASA’s Orion spacecraft approaching the robotic asteroid capture vehicle. The trip from Earth to the captured asteroid will take Orion and its two-person crew an estimated nine days. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA has chosen 96 ideas it regards as most promising from more than 400 submitted in response to its June request for information (RFI) about protecting Earth from asteroids and finding an asteroid humans can explore.

(more…)

NASA Outlines Asteroid Redirect Mission in Images, Video

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Part of President Obama’s FY 2014 budget request for NASA, the asteroid initiative capitalizes on activities across the agency’s human exploration, space technology and science efforts. NASA is enhancing its ongoing efforts to identify and characterize near-Earth objects for scientific investigation, and to find potentially hazardous asteroids and targets appropriate for capture.

(more…)

Asteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop Set for Sept. 30 in Houston

asteroid_retrieval_nasaAsteroid Initiative Idea Synthesis Workshop
Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2013
Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, Texas

After receiving more than 400 responses to the Asteroid Initiative RFI, NASA continues to review the submissions received from industry, scientists, engineers, and space enthusiasts worldwide.

As a follow up to the RFI, we will invite many of the submitters to share their ideas for discussion with the broader Asteroid Initiative community during an idea synthesis workshop at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston Texas, Sept. 30 – Oct. 2.

Presenter invitations will be issued on Monday, Aug. 19, and presenters may participate in person at LPI or virtually. Virtual participation options will also be available for the public.

Capacity Notice: because of limited seating available during the workshop, registration will be required and general on-site attendance will be restricted. Virtual participation is strongly encouraged. We will post the agenda and virtual participation options on this page as the workshop nears.

A Closer Look at NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission

Video Caption: The U.S. has explored space with telescopes, robotic rovers and its shuttle. Now facing budget cuts and reduced resources, NASA has had to reassess its ambitions while heeding the call for new discovery. Judy Woodruff talks to Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post about a new program that aims to capture a small asteroid.

Editor’s Note: Achenbach wrote a story a couple of days ago about the asteroid mission, which is being viewed skeptically by most of the scientists who study these bodies:

But the mission is viewed skeptically by many in the space community. At a July gathering of engineers and scientists at the National Academy of Sciences, veteran engineer Gentry Lee expressed doubt that the complicated elements of the mission could come together by 2021, and said the many uncertainties would boost the costs.

(more…)

NASA Completes First Internal Review of Concepts for Asteroid Redirect Mission

asteroid_retrieval_nasa
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) —
NASA has completed the first step toward a mission to find and capture a near-Earth asteroid, redirect it to a stable lunar orbit and send humans to study it.

In preparation for fiscal year 2014, a mission formulation review on Tuesday brought together NASA leaders from across the country to examine internal studies proposing multiple concepts and alternatives for each phase of the asteroid mission. The review assessed technical and programmatic aspects of the mission.

(more…)