This illustration shows the Venus-like orbit of the Sentinel Space Telescope, a private deep-space observatory to seek out potentially dangerous asteroids. The telescope is planned by the B612 Foundation.
CREDIT: B612 Foundation

Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017

by Mike Wall, Senior WriterDate: 11 October 2012 Time: 01:08 PM ET

This story was updated at 2:12 p.m. EDT.

A private space telescope mission that aims to discover 500,000 near-Earth asteroids is technically sound and on track for a 2017 launch, a review panel says.

The mission design and implementation plans for the Sentinel Space Telescope — which is being put together by the nonprofit B612 Foundation and its partner Ball Aerospace — are solid, according to the panel, which is called the Sentinel Special Review Team.

“This is a major milestone in the development of Sentinel, and has validated the enormous amount of design and planning work that has already been carried out by Ball Aerospace,” SSRT chair Tom Gavin, former director for solar system exploration at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., said in a statement.

Read more: Private Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope to Launch in 2017 |

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