B612 Foundation Moves Forward on Sentinel Asteroid Hunting Mission

B612 Foundation Moves Forward on Sentinel Asteroid Hunting Mission

While the East Coast was dealing with Superstorm Sandy, the B612 Foundation and Ball Aerospace were signing a contract for the development of prototype sensors for B612’s asteroid-hunting spacecraft, Sentinel.

The B612 Foundation, led by former astronaut Ed Lu, announced formation of a Sentinel Special Review Team earlier this month.  The contract signing with Ball is the next step.

The contract is only for prototype infrared sensors needed for Sentinel’s mission to find and catalog asteroids that could threaten Earth.  B612 is trying to raise funding from philanthropists for the mission in the same way that wealthy donors have funded ground-based telescopes historically.

Sentinel’s launch is currently anticipated in 2017 using a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.  B-612 has a Space Act Agreement with NASA through which NASA will provide technical advice and access to its Deep Space Network to track and communicate with Sentinel.

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