Asteroid hunters want to launch private telescope
2012-07-02 0:00

By Alicia Chang | AssociatedPress

Who will protect us from a killer asteroid? A team of ex-NASA astronauts and scientists thinks it’s up to them.

In a bold plan unveiled Thursday, the group wants to launch its own space telescope to spot and track small and mid-sized space rocks capable of wiping out a city or continent. With that information, they could sound early warnings if a rogue asteroid appeared headed toward our planet.

This artist’s rendering provided by Ball Aerospace/B612 Foundation Sentinel Mission shows the Sentinel Space Telescope which the nonprofit B612 Foundation wants to launch. The group of ex-NASA astronauts and scientists on Thursday, June 28, 2012 announced they plan to launch a privately-funded space telescope to search for small asteroids that may pose a danger to Earth. (AP Photo/Ball Aerospace/B612 Foundation Sentinel Mission)

So far, the idea from the B612 Foundation is on paper only.

Such an effort would cost upward of several hundred million dollars, and the group plans to start fundraising. Behind the nonprofit are a space shuttle astronaut, Apollo 9 astronaut, former Mars czar, deep space mission manager along with other non-NASA types.


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