Media and social media are invited to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland Tuesday, June 16 for an update on the agency’s Asteroid Grand Challenge and the robotic systems that will be used on asteroid exploration missions.

To attend Tuesday’s 9:30 a.m. EDT event, reporters and social media representatives must pre-register with Dewayne Washington of NASA Goddard Public Affairs at or 301-286-0040 by 3 p.m. Monday, June 15.

In addition to an update on the agency’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, participants will hear from Benjamin Reed, deputy project manager of Goddard’s Satellite Servicing Capabilities Office (SSCO), and tour the facilities newest lab, dubbed The Cauldron. The SSCO is developing robotic systems for the agency’s Asteroid Robotic Redirect Mission(ARRM) and other NASA missions using space robotics. 

NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge, which marks its two-year anniversary on Thursday, June 18, expands the agency’s Asteroid Initiative beyond traditional boundaries by encouraging partnerships and collaboration with a variety of organizations. The goal of the program is to engage people around the world in the effort to find all asteroid threats to human populations and figure out what to do about them

The challenge and ARRM make up the agency’s Asteroid Initiative, which seeks to enhance ongoing work in the identification and characterization of near-Earth objects for further scientific investigation. The ARRM mission will demonstrate capabilities needed to send astronauts on deep space missions as part of our journey to Mars. The initiative also complements NASA’s ongoing global leadership in tracking asteroids through the agency’s Near Earth Objects program.