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 that is 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.

NEOCam has been funded for an extended Phase A study by NASA in the Planetary Defense Coordination Office.

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?

NASA Notes: How Do We Know What We Don't Know about Asteroids?


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)


UArizona Looks Toward Work on NASA’s Potential Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope

December 10, 2019 News Release

Space-Based Infrared Telescope for Planetary Defense Gets Boost From National Academies

June 19, 2019 News Release

NEOCam funded for extended Phase A study

January 4, 2017 News Release

NEOCam one of 5 mission proposals picked by NASA for further study

September 30, 2015 News Release

NASA-Funded Asteroid Tracking Sensor Passes Key Test

April 15, 2013 News Release

NASA announces three new mission candidates

May 5, 2011 News Release

NEOCam: The Near-Earth Object Camera

September 1, 2006 Abstract