Diagram of the orbit of the Sentinel Space Telescope. Credit: Ball Aerospace/B612 Foundation

Expert team endorses design of private space telescope

Posted: October 15, 2012

The design and objectives of the B612 Foundation’s privately-funded asteroid-hunting space telescope are technically sound, according to an independent panel of industry and NASA experts commissioned to advise the project.

Based in Mountain View, Calif., the B612 Foundation aims to launch the Sentinel Space Telescope in 2017 to discover up to 500,000 near-Earth asteroids and map their trajectories.

Established in 2002, the foundation’s ultimate goal is to open the frontier of space exploration and protect humanity from asteroid impacts.

The foundation says the Sentinel Space Telescope is the first step, and officials unveiled the project in June.

On Thursday, the group announced the formation and initial findings of an independent advisory board consisting of experienced managers from NASA and industry.

The committee concluded the Sentinel mission design was technically sound, and the observatory will have a viable detection method for finding and tracking near-Earth asteroids, according to the B612 Foundation.

Read more: Spaceflight Now | Breaking News | Expert team endorses design of private space telescope.

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