NASA selects top 96 asteroid initiative ideas

September 5, 2013

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.

The ideas provide the agency with fresh insight into how best to identify, capture and relocate a near-Earth asteroid for closer study and respond to asteroid threats. They include pointers on how to decrease an asteroid's spin, nudge it away from a path toward Earth, take samples to return to Earth and create activities to heighten public awareness of not only the threat asteroids pose, but the valuable resources and scientific benefits they may offer.

"This rich set of innovative ideas gathered from all over the world provides us with a great deal of information to factor into our plans moving forward," said Robert Lightfoot, Associate Administrator for NASA. "We're making great progress on formulating this mission, and we look forward to discussing further the responses we received to the RFI."

These ideas were submitted by industry, universities, international organizations, and the public. NASA's selection process involved agency scientists, engineers and mission planners who are formulating details of the asteroid initiative.

NASA's request for information was the first opportunity for industry and other to offer ideas for the asteroid initiative.

NASA plans a public workshop Sept. 30 - Oct. 2 to examine and synthesize the 96 highly rated ideas. The workshop will feature discussions by experts from inside and outside NASA. The other approximately 300 ideas, which were not selected for examination, may be fed into planning for the asteroid initiative.

NASA's asteroid initiative has two parts: the mission by astronauts to explore an asteroid and a to protect the planet. It is included in President Obama's fiscal year 2014 for NASA, and leverages the agency's progress on its Space Launch System rocket, Orion spacecraft and cutting-edge technology development. The mission is a key step in NASA's plan to send humans to Mars in the 2030s.

To learn more about the RFI selection process and view the workshop outline, visit:http://www.nasa.gov/content/-initiative-idea-synthesis-workshop

Explore further: Senator says NASA to lasso asteroid, bring it closer (Update)

Related Stories

Radar images of asteroid 2005 WK4

August 22, 2013

(Phys.org) —A collage of radar images of near-Earth asteroid 2005 WK4 was generated by NASA scientists using the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, Calif., on Aug. 8, 2013.

NASA releases new imagery of asteroid mission

August 23, 2013

(Phys.org) —NASA released Thursday new photos and video animations depicting the agency's planned mission to find, capture, redirect, and study a near-Earth asteroid. The images depict crew operations including the Orion ...

Recommended for you

Image: Hubble sees a dying star's final moments

July 31, 2015

A dying star's final moments are captured in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The death throes of this star may only last mere moments on a cosmological timescale, but this star's demise is still quite ...

Binary star system precisely timed with pulsar's gamma-rays

July 31, 2015

Pulsars are rapidly rotating compact remnants born in the explosions of massive stars. They can be observed through their lighthouse-like beams of radio waves and gamma-rays. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational ...

Earth flyby of 'space peanut' captured in new video

July 31, 2015

NASA scientists have used two giant, Earth-based radio telescopes to bounce radar signals off a passing asteroid and produce images of the peanut-shaped body as it approached close to Earth this past weekend.

Exoplanets 20/20: Looking back to the future

July 31, 2015

Geoff Marcy remembers the hair standing up on the back of his neck. Paul Butler remembers being dead tired. The two men had just made history: the first confirmation of a planet orbiting another star.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.