NASA is ready to launch its first mission devoted to planetary defense, a spacecraft that will collide with the moon of a small asteroid to test the ability to deflect it.
A proposal to replace the giant radio telescope at Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico with a new facility suggests it could be used for tracking space objects as well as for scientific research.
With the Arecibo radio telescope set to be decommissioned, NASA is beginning to consider options for future planetary radar capabilities, including potential cooperation with the U.S. Space Force.
NASA’s small but high-profile planetary defense program has overcome disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic to continue searching for potentially hazardous near Earth objects.
After years of study and failed proposals, NASA has decided to proceed with development of a space-based telescope to search for near-Earth asteroids.
Scientists used an appearance by the NASA administrator at a conference April 29 to press him to fund additional missions that support the agency’s work in discovering and characterizing near Earth objects.
A year and a half after ministers declined to fund one mission to an asteroid, the European Space Agency is working on a second such mission that could support planetary defense efforts.