Tag: asteroids

QinetiQ Studies How to Save World From Killer Asteroids

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Asteroid Impact Mission spacecraft. (Credit: ESA/The Science Office Ltd.)

Asteroid Impact Mission spacecraft. (Credit: ESA/The Science Office Ltd.)

FARNBOROUGH, England — QinetiQ is examining what it would take to save the world from an asteroid impact, under an €840,000 [$937,398) contract awarded by the European Space Agency (ESA).

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NASA Working on the Coolest Spacecraft/Rover Hybrids You’ve Ever Seen

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Video Caption: What’s the best way to explore comets and asteroids? Spacecraft? Rovers?

The answer may be a bit both — a spacecraft/rover hybrid.

Exploring small bodies like comets and asteroids could shed light on the origin and evolution of the solar system and even the origin of life on our planet.

Watch as Marco Pavone, Stanford University, and Ben Hockman, student, Stanford University, discuss their NASA Innovative Advanced Concept (NIAC) for spacecraft/rover hybrids.

This video was developed from a live recording at the 2015 NIAC Fall Symposium in October, 2015. To watch the full original talk please visit: http://bit.ly/1GGh5r8

To learn more about NIAC visit: www.nasa.gov/niac

House Members Want NASA to Develop Human Space Exploration Roadmap

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Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth's moon. (Credit: NASA)

Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth’s moon. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (House Science Committee PR) – On Wednesday, the House Subcommittee on Space held a hearing titled,Charting a Course: Expert Perspectives on NASA’s Human Exploration Proposals.” Witnesses shared their viewpoints on NASA’s human space exploration plans – including a human mission to Mars – and the challenge of keeping programs on track through changing presidential administrations.

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Luxembourg Set to Become Asteroid Mining Power

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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

Three asteroids (Credit: NASA/JPL/NEAR and Galileo missions)

Well, this is interesting:

The country is home to one of the world’s biggest satellite firms, SES, and is now planning to create a space mining industry that could both advance science and make investors wealthy, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The Grand Duchy is partnering with the dramatically-named commercial space mining firms, Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources of the US.

Luxembourg‘s Economy Minister Etienne Schneider is set to provide details on Wednesday about the joint venture, which seeks to mine gold, platinum and other minerals. Former ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain is an adviser to the effort.

DSI, UTIAS Demonstrate Autonomous Spacecraft Maneuvering

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CanX-4 and CanX-5 are a pair of identical nanosatellites built by the Space Flight Laboratory, and launched in June 2014. (Credit: UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory)

CanX-4 and CanX-5 are a pair of identical nanosatellites built by the Space Flight Laboratory, and launched in June 2014. (Credit: UTIAS Space Flight Laboratory)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (DSI PR) — The world’s first demonstration of autonomous spacecraft maneuvering was recently completed by Silicon Valley-based Deep Space Industries (DSI) and the Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) of Toronto, Canada. Using their highly-successful CanX-4 and CanX-5 pair of nanosatellites, SFL operators executed a DSI-defined experiment on-orbit, in which the world’s first spacecraft-to-spacecraft orbit maneuver was commanded by one satellite and executed by the other.

In this experiment, one of the two spacecraft (CanX-4) autonomously programmed the other (CanX-5) to perform an orbit change using its on-board propulsion system, over a shared S-band Inter-Satellite Link (ISL) radio. CanX-5 subsequently executed the maneuver, raising its orbit, as confirmed by operators at SFL’s Mission Control Center (MCC) in Toronto and data from the Joint Space Operations Center (JSpOC) at Vandenberg Air Force Base.

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NASA Office to Coordinate Asteroid Detection, Hazard Mitigation

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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

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has formalized its ongoing program for detecting and tracking near-Earth objects (NEOs) as the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO). The office remains within NASA’s Planetary Science Division, in the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

The office will be responsible for supervision of all NASA-funded projects to find and characterize asteroids and comets that pass near Earth’s orbit around the sun. It will also take a leading role in coordinating interagency and intergovernmental efforts in response to any potential impact threats.

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What Happened to Planetary Resources’ Real Satellite?

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Arkyd-3 satellite (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Arkyd-3 satellite (Credit: Planetary Resources)

While Planetary Resources unveiled a tiny model of a spacecraft 3D printed from asteroid metals amid much hype at the glitzy Consumer Electronics Show this week, the space mining company has apparently remained silent for nearly six months about an actual satellite it launched into space.

The Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) CubeSat was deployed from the International Space Station on July 16 on a planned 90-day mission to “validate several core technologies including the avionics, control systems and software, which the company will incorporate into future spacecraft that will venture into the Solar System and prospect for resource-rich near-Earth asteroids.” It was the company’s first deployed spacecraft.

Miniature satellite model made from asteroid material. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

Miniature satellite model made from asteroid material. (Credit: Planetary Resources)

“The successful deployment of the A3R is a significant milestone for Planetary Resources as we forge a path toward prospecting resource-rich asteroids,” Co-founder Peter Diamandis said in a press release. “Our team is developing the technology that will enable humanity to create an off-planet economy that will fundamentally change the way we live on Earth.”

The company has not posted an update on its website about this significant milestone since the satellite was deployed. The silence is rather odd given the significance of the mission and the company’s PR savvy.

A3R might have already re-entered the atmosphere. A search on N2YO.com indicates a satellite by that name re-entered the atmosphere on Dec. 23. However, the listing indicates a November 1998 launch date.

UPDATE: The A3R did in fact re-enter the atmosphere on Dec. 23. The November 1998 launch date is for the ISS Zarya module that was launched at that time. Anything deployed from the space station has that launch date.

Canadian-built Laser Mapping System Takes Aim at an Asteroid

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A technician prepares the OLA sensor head for testing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Baltimore, Maryland. (Credit: NASA / Goddard / Debora McCallum)

A technician prepares the OLA sensor head for testing at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Baltimore, Maryland. (Credit: NASA / Goddard / Debora McCallum)

SAINT-HUBERT, Quebec (CSA PR) — The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has delivered its contribution to NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission: the Canadian-built OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA).
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International Institute of Space Law Weighs in on Space Mining Law

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IISL_logoINTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE OF SPACE LAW

Position Paper on Space Resource Mining
Adopted by consensus by the Board of Directors on 20 December 2015

I. The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act

On 25 November 2015, the President of the United States signed into law the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (H.R. 2262).1 It consists of four Titles: I. Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship; II. Commercial Remote Sensing; III. Office of Space Commerce; and IV. Space Resource Exploration and Utilization.

Title IV, which is of interest here, addresses in a preliminary way space resource exploitation.

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Hayabusa2 Makes Successful Flyby of Earth

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Drawing of Hayabusa2 and MASCOT small lander. (Credit: DLR)

Drawing of Hayabusa2 and MASCOT small lander. (Credit: DLR)

TOKYO (JAXA PR) — The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) confirmed that the Asteroid Explorer “Hayabusa2” is cruising on its target orbit after measuring and calculating the post-Earth-swing-by orbit.

The Hayabusa2 performed the Earth swing-by on the night of December 3 (Thu.), 2015 (Japan Standard Time). The Hayabusa2 flew closest to the Earth at 7:08 p.m. (JST) and passed over the Pacific Ocean near the Hawaii islands at an altitude of about 3,090 km. With the swing-by, the explorer’s orbit turned by about 80 degrees and its speed increased by about 1.6 km per second to about 31.9 km per second (against the sun) thus the orbit achieved the target numbers.

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DSI’s Tumlinson Awarded World Technology Award

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Rick Tumlison, accepting his World Technology Award on Nov 20, 2015. Pictured with World Technology Network founder James Craig. (Credit: DSI)

Rick Tumlison, accepting his World Technology Award on Nov 20, 2015. Pictured with World Technology Network founder James Craig. (Credit: DSI)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (DSI PR) — On Friday, November 20, 2015, Rick Tumlinson was awarded the World Technology Award by the World Technology Network  (“The WTN”) – a global community comprised of the most innovative people and organizations at the forefront of science and technology and related fields.   Mr. Tumlinson was awarded this prestigious honor for his work at Deep Space Industries in the development of an industrial economy in space.

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NASA Repurposed NEOWISE Spacecraft Finding Asteroids

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NEOWISE (Credit; NASA)

NEOWISE (Credit; NASA)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NASA PR) — Since it began operations in December 2009, NASA’s NEOWISE mission has observed 158,000 asteroids and discovered more than 35,000.

The NEOWISE mission hunts for near-Earth objects (NEOs) using the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft. Funded by NASA’s NEO Observations Program, the NEOWISE mission uses images taken by the spacecraft to look for asteroids and comets, providing a rich source of measurements of solar system objects at infrared wavelengths. These measurements include wavelengths that are difficult or impossible to detect directly from the ground.

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Deep Space Industries Applauds Vote on Asteroid Mining

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dsi_logoMOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (DSI PR) — Deep Space Industries (DSI) congratulates the members of the United States Senate for passing legislation that significantly advances the cause of opening space resources to humanity. Title IV of S.1297, also referred to as the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitive Act of 2015, promotes the right of U.S. citizens to engage in commercial exploration for, and commercial recovery of, space resources in accordance with international obligations and subject to supervision by the U.S. government.

“We are pleased to see the beginnings of legal clarity in the field of space resource utilization,” said Rick Tumlinson, Chair of Deep Space Industries. “This bill is a historic step forward and demonstrates that Congress can effectively and quickly pass legislation that is important to the country’s economic future. The hard-working legislators and their staff on Capitol Hill are to be commended.”

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Moon Express Praises Senate Vote on Space Mining

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me-word-logo2WASHINGTON, DC, November 11th, 2015 (Moon Express PR) – Last night, the Senate passed landmark legislation on a unified vision for the growth of the commercial space industry. Title IV of the “U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA, or H.R. 2262 as amended)”, provides the first ever codification of rights under United States law for the extraction and utilization of space resources obtained from a celestial body.

Moon Express, Bigelow Aerospace, and many other companies are applauding the Senate for supporting the creation of a stable and predictable environment for private sector development while encouraging investments into the bold new field of outer space resource exploration and utilization. This legislation protects and supports U.S. interests as private sector companies expand the economic sphere of Earth to the Moon and beyond.

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Planetary Resources on Space Measure: We Like It!

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planetary_resources
REDMOND, Wash. (Planetary Resources PR) — Planetary Resources, Inc., the asteroid mining company, praises the members of Congress who promoted historic legislation (H.R. 2262) that recognizes the right of U.S. citizens to own asteroid resources they obtain as property and encourages the commercial exploration and recovery of resources from asteroids, free from harmful interference.

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