Skip to main content

Sentinel Space Telescope: The Private Deep-Space Asteroid Mission in Pictures

Sentinel Space Telescope Diagram

B612 Foundation

This diagram shows the various parts of the Sentinel Space Telescope, an asteroid-monitoring observatory planned by the B612 Foundation.

Thousands of Asteroids

Planetary Resources, Inc.

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.

Sentinel Space Telescope Asteroid View

B612 Foundation

This image depicts the region of view of the B612 Foundation's planned Sentinel Space Telescope to monitor potentially dangerous asteroids.

How the Private Sentinel Space Telescope Will Hunt Asteroids(Infographic)

Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor

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.

Sentinel Space Telescope Orbit

B612 Foundation

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.

Orbits of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids

NASA/JPL-Caltech

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.

Potentially Hazardous Asteroids Orbital Plane

NASA/JPL-Caltech

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).

Millions of Rocky and Metallic Asteroids Occupy the Asteroid Belt (Infographic)

Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor

Most asteroids orbit the sun within a broad belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter: the asteroid belt. Get the facts about the asteroid belt in this SPACE.com infographic.

NEO Survey Observatory

National Academy of Sciences

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.

NEO Survey Observatory Design

Ball Aerospace

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

B612 Foundation logo.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.