The B612 Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded by astronauts Ed Lu and Rusty Schweickart, has announced plans to launch Sentinel, an asteroid hunting orbital telescope. The idea is to search for asteroids that might pose a danger to Earth by means of collision. By placing the telescope in a near-Venus orbit, the foundation anticipates identifying potential threats smaller and earlier than low Earth orbit observatories.
B612 has designed the telescope, which is to be build by Ball Aerospace, and arranged to use NASA ground stations for communications. Now, they are asking the public to help fund the $400 million project. As Lu says, “You get to take part in saving the Earth.”
Watch The B612 Foundation Sentinel video below: