Currently Known NEO's: 3 Estimated Total NEO's: 10


Finding Asteroids Before They Find Us


The Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) is a new mission proposal designed to discover and characterize most of the potentially hazardous asteroids that are near the Earth. NEOCam consists of an infrared telescope and a wide-field camera operating at thermal infrared wavelengths.

The NEOCam proposal has recently been funded by NASA for technology development.

NEOCam's primary science objectives are threefold:

  • To assess the present-day risk of near-Earth object (NEO) impact.
  • To study the origin and ultimate fate of our solar system's asteroids.
  • To find the most suitable NEO targets for future exploration by robots and humans.

Asteroids and Comets

The NEOCam team is interested in learning everything we can about asteroids and comets throughout the solar system so that we can understand where they come from, what they're like today, and what's going to happen to them.  

Discovering NEOs is not enough - we need to characterize them and understand their physical properties so that we can take appropriate action should one be found on an Earth-threatening trajectory. 

Our science team seeks to understand their origins and evolution: how did asteroids and comets form, did they enable life, and how do they migrate around the solar system?


NEOCam - The NEOCam space telescope will survey the regions of space closest to the Earth's orbit, where potentially hazardous asteroids are most likely to be found. NEOCam will use infrared light to characterize their physical properties such as their diameters. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


NASA-Funded Asteroid Tracking Sensor Passes Key Test

April 15, 2013 News Release