This diagram shows the various parts of the Sentinel Space Telescope, an asteroid-monitoring observatory planned by the B612 Foundation.
Nearly 9,000 near-Earth asteroids are known today, and more than 1,500 of them are easier to reach than the surface of the moon, aspiring space-rock miners say.
This image depicts the region of view of the B612 Foundation's planned Sentinel Space Telescope to monitor potentially dangerous asteroids.
From its vantage point near Venus’ orbit, Sentinel will have a clear view of Earth’s orbit while looking away from the glare of the sun as shown in this infographic.
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.
This diagram illustrates the differences between orbits of a typical near-Earth asteroid (blue) and a potentially hazardous asteroid, or PHA (orange). PHAs have the closest orbits to Earth's orbit, coming within 5 million miles (about 8 million kilometers), and they are large enough to survive passage through Earth's atmosphere and cause significant damage.
NEOWISE survey has found that more potentially hazardous asteroids, or PHAs, are closely aligned with the plane of our solar system than previous models suggested. PHAs are the subset of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) with the closest orbits to Earth's orbit, coming within 5 million miles (about 8 million kilometers).
In the coming years, commercial space ventures hope to send robot space probes to mine valuable material from the asteroids.
This image from a 2010 NASA report shows the position of a potential asteroid survey spacecraft that could be positioned in a Venus-trailing orbit to search for near-Earth asteroids and comets that could pose an impact risk to our home planet. The Sentinel Space Telescope appears to borrow from this mission plan.
The B612 Foundation's Sentinel Space Telescope appears similar to the design initially proposed for NASA's NEO Survey Observatory to hunt potentially dangerous asteroids.
B612 Foundation logo.
Ed Lu, chairman and CEO of the B612 Foundation, is a former NASA astronaut who flew three space missions including 6 months on the International Space Station.
Russell Schweickart, chair emeritus of the B612 Foundation, was the Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 9 mission, March 3-13, 1969.