Indie Rock Band Broken Bells Donating Ticket Sales to Asteroid-Hunting Telescope Project

B612 Sentinel Foundation
Artist's Illustration of the B612 Foundation's Sentinel mission, which will search for potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroids. (Image credit: B612)

An indie rock band and a foundation created to protect the planet from hazardous asteroids might sound like an unlikely pair, but the band Broken Bells and the B612 Foundation are teaming up to raise money for planetary protection.

Broken Bells will donate $1 from every ticket sold on their West Coast tour to the B612 Foundation's Sentinel mission — a space telescope designed to hunt for dangerous near-Earth asteroids. Planned for launch in 2018, the private space-based observatory should survey the sky to find 90 percent of asteroids larger than about 460 feet (140 meters), space rocks that are large enough to possibly cause serious regional damage if they hit Earth.

The band's April tour includes two performances at the Coachella festival and a special show in Los Angles, Calif. After the Los Angeles show on April 15, the band and B612 will host an after party with special guests and telescopes set up by astronomers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. [See photos of the Sentinel Space Telescope]

"The mission of the B612 Foundation is to create the first comprehensive and dynamic map of the inner solar system to provide early warning of dangerous asteroid impacts as well as prepare the path for future exploration," B612 officials said in a statement. "Sentinel will be the world's first and largest privately funded deep space mission. To date, all telescopes combined have identified only 10 percent of the more than one million asteroids which we need to know about to protect us; Sentinel will find the other 99 percent."

Broken Bells' West Coast tour dates include:

  • April 10 - Tempe, AZ - The Marquee
  • April 11 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
  • April 13 - Tucson, AZ - Rialto Theatre
  • April 15 - Los Angeles, CA - Fonda Theatre
  • April 16 - San Diego, CA - Humphrey's
  • April 18 - Indio, CA - Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival
  • April 19 - Oakland, CA - Fox Theater

"The B612 Foundation believes that humanity can harness the power of science and technology to protect the future of civilization on this planet, while extending our reach into the solar system," officials wrote on the foundation's website. "Our view is that we are not passengers on Space Ship Earth — we are the Crew."

To learn more about the Broken Bells concert tour, visit:

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Miriam Kramer
Staff Writer

Miriam Kramer joined as a Staff Writer in December 2012. Since then, she has floated in weightlessness on a zero-gravity flight, felt the pull of 4-Gs in a trainer aircraft and watched rockets soar into space from Florida and Virginia. She also served as's lead space entertainment reporter, and enjoys all aspects of space news, astronomy and commercial spaceflight.  Miriam has also presented space stories during live interviews with Fox News and other TV and radio outlets. She originally hails from Knoxville, Tennessee where she and her family would take trips to dark spots on the outskirts of town to watch meteor showers every year. She loves to travel and one day hopes to see the northern lights in person. Miriam is currently a space reporter with Axios, writing the Axios Space newsletter. You can follow Miriam on Twitter.