UArizona Looks Toward Work on NASA’s Potential Asteroid-Hunting Space Telescope
December 10, 2019 • News Release
The University of Arizona is spearheading work that would begin efforts to construct a space-based infrared telescope that could provide the capabilities NASA needs to search for asteroids and comets that pose impact hazards to Earth, called near-Earth objects, or NEOs.
Space-Based Infrared Telescope for Planetary Defense Gets Boost From National Academies
June 19, 2019 • News Release
A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today gives a boost to supporters of building a space-based infrared telescope to detect asteroids as part of NASA’s planetary defense goals as opposed to its science program. The distinction is important because NASA’s science program is guided by the Academies’ Decadal Surveys, which do not include missions for planetary defense, making it virtually impossible for such missions to compete for NASA’s limited mission opportunities.
NEOCam funded for extended Phase A study
January 4, 2017 • News Release
NASA has selected two missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system - a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed to mission formulation, with the goal of launching in 2021 and 2023, respectively.
NEOCam one of 5 mission proposals picked by NASA for further study
September 30, 2015 • News Release
NEOCam is one of 5 mission proposals picked by NASA for further study. NEOCam is an infrared asteroid-hunting telescope, which would discover 2/3 of near-Earth objects larger than 140m.
NASA-Funded Asteroid Tracking Sensor Passes Key Test
April 15, 2013 • News Release
An infrared sensor that could improve NASA's future detecting and tracking of asteroids and comets has passed a critical design test.
NASA announces three new mission candidates
May 5, 2011 • News Release
NASA has selected three science investigations to conduct concept studies as candidates for the next mission in the Discovery Program.
NEOCam: The Near-Earth Object Camera
September 1, 2006 • Abstract
The Near-Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) is a space-based mid- infrared (IR) observing system, operating at the Earth-Sun L1 point. NEOCam's primary science goals are: - To assess the hazard to Earth from Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) - To study the origin and ultimate fate of our Solar System's asteroids NEOCam consists of a 50 cm telescope passively cooled to 30 K; it is equipped with a single mid-IR bandpass operating from 6 - 10 um. NEOCam will detect 78% of potentially hazardous NEOs >140; m diameter within 5 years. If the mission continues for an additional 5 years, NEOCam will meet NASA's goal of discovering 90% of potentially hazardous objects larger than 140 m in diameter. NEOCam's observation strategy allows it to discover the orbits of new NEOs independently and provide robust diameter measurements for all detections. NEOCam will discover and measure diameters for 100x more NEOs than are currently known today. NEOCam will place the first constraints on the population of asteroids with orbits that are totally interior to the Earth's orbit (IEOs). NEOCam is sensitive to a wide range of albedos and can scan areas of the sky that are difficult to access with ground-based surveys. NEOCam is fundamentally different from visible surveys, since its mid-IR bandpass allows more direct physical characterization of asteroids.