The privately funded Sentinel project would launch a space telescope into a solar orbit at about the distance of the planet Venus.
Once in place, Sentinel Space Telescope would be pointed away from the sun and would start scanning the area around the orbit of Earth for undiscovered asteroids that might be on Earth-impacting trajectories. The current plan is to launch Sentinel in 2016 aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket.
The spacecraft would build on technologies designed for NASA space telescopes such as Kepler and Spitzer observatories. Sentinel uses a 20-inch infrared telescope to scan for moving objects that could be asteroids in near-Earth orbits.
Sentinel would be the world’s first privately funded deep space telescope. The B612 Foundation is dedicated to protecting Earth from potentially devastating asteroid impacts. The group is named after the asteroid home of the hero of “The Little Prince,” a children’s book by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
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Karl's association with Space.com goes back to 2000, when he was hired to produce interactive Flash graphics. From 2010 to 2016, Karl worked as an infographics specialist across all editorial properties of Purch (formerly known as TechMediaNetwork). Before joining Space.com, Karl spent 11 years at the New York headquarters of The Associated Press, creating news graphics for use around the world in newspapers and on the web. He has a degree in graphic design from Louisiana State University and now works as a freelance graphic designer in New York City.