NASA NEO Surveyor mission: Telescope to find near-Earth asteroids confirmed

    NASA has officially confirmed the NEO Surveyor mission. The mission will accelerate NASA's ability to find near-Earth asteroids.

    By: HT TECH
    | Updated on: Dec 09 2022, 16:13 IST
    Top NASA tech that solved Mars myths and mysteries like never before
    Mars
    1/10 Humans have been studying Mars for hundred of years. In 1609, Galileo was the first person to peer through a telescope and get a more intimate image of what many could only have dreamed of. (Pixabay)
    Mars
    2/10 An up close and personal view of the red planet emerged as time progressed and so did the capabilities of telescopes. In fact, from the late 1800s to the mid 1900s, many astronomers believed that Mars was home to majestic seas and lush areas of vegetation. The Dark markings on Mars surface were once believed to be caused by vegetation growing and dying. (Pixabay)
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    3/10 Some even believed that intelligent life existed on Mars just because of what they saw through their simple telescopes. But that is exactly was science is about-you make educated guesses based on what you know, then change your ideas based on what you learn. (NASA)
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    4/10 Now, thanks to new sophisticated equipment and robotic visits to Mars, it turns out they were caused by Martian wind. It was not until the 1960s, when NASA's Mariner missions flew by and snapped pictures of Mars that many of the myths about the red planet were dispelled. (NASA)
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    5/10 That does not make Mars any less interesting. The possibility that life actually existed once on Mars is still a distinct possibility. Or it may even be existing on Mars today! No, not in the form of little green men, but on a microbial level. (NASA)
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    6/10 Now, taking pictures is great and all. But nothing is better than getting to know the real thing. So, to get a better feel of Mars, Scientists and engineers built some nifty technologies, from spacecrafts to reach Mars and rovers (vehicles) to actually trundle and explore the planet. (NASA/JPL)
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    7/10 Among the earliest tech deployed for Mars was Phoenix. It was launched on August 4, 2007 and so began its 9-month long, 681 Million km journey to the legendary red planet. Now, landing on a planet is not as easy as simply dropping a spacecraft onto it. There is actually a lot of steps to the process. (NASA)
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    8/10 On May 25, 2008, Phoenix entered Mars atmosphere. It used its heat shield to slow down the high speed entry of 5600 meters per second or around 12500 miles per hour. It released a supersonic PARACHUTE, then detached from its parachute and used its rocket engines to land safely on the planet's surface. Phoenix' landing spot was further north and closer to the ice covered poles than any spacecraft has ever been before. (NASA)
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    9/10 Phoenix had two primary goals: One was to study the history of water in the Martian arctic and the other was to search for evidence of a habitual zone and assess the biological potential of the ice soil boundary. And to do that the spacecraft was packed full of gizmos and gadgets to perform all sets of experiments and tests. One of these gizmos was a robotic arm with a shovel attached. It was used to dig up samples of the martian soil for experiments! (NASA)
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    10/10 Another top tech on the Mars surface was the Surface Stereo Imager, which is really just a fancy name for the camera. Three surface stereo imagers were Phoenix' eye. Engineers built the device with two optical lenses that would allow for a three dimensional view, just like our eyes. And the SSI sent back some amazing images of the martian landscape. (Source: NASA/Justin Tully) (NASA)
    NASA's NEO Surveyor mission
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    Here is all you need to know about NASA's NEO Surveyor mission. (NASA)

    NASA is all set to accelerate its ability to find near-Earth asteroids (NEO). The research organisation has officially confirmed the NEO Surveyor mission. NASA Asteroid Watch informed about the same via a tweet saying, "UPDATE: @NASA's NEO Surveyor mission, an infrared space telescope designed to accelerate our ability to find near-Earth asteroids, has officially been confirmed as a NASA mission! NEO Surveyor is being developed by @NASAJPL & led by @UArizonaLPL.

    "Agency officials have completed a rigorous technical and programmatic review, known as Key Decision Point C (KDP-C), and confirmed NASA's Near-Earth Object Surveyor space telescope (NEO Surveyor) – the next flight mission out of the agency's Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) – establishing NASA's commitment to the mission's technical, cost, and schedule baseline," NASA said in a blog post.

    According to the decision made NASA will develop a cost baseline of USD 1.2 billion and a commitment to be ready for a launch no later than June 2028. The cost and schedule commitments outlined at KDP-C align the NEO Surveyor mission with program management best practices that account for potential technical risks and budgetary uncertainty beyond the development project's control.

    About NASA's NEO Surveyor

    NEO Surveyor is an infrared space telescope designed to help advance NASA's planetary defense efforts by expediting its ability to discover and characterize at least 90 percent of the potentially hazardous asteroids and comets that come within 30 million miles of Earth's orbit, collectively known as near-earth objects, or NEOs.

    NEO Surveyor's successful completion of this review furthers NASA's commitment to planetary defense and the search for NEOs that could one day pose an impact threat to Earth. The flight mission, which falls under the agency's Planetary Science Division within the Science Mission directorate, is being developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, and the survey investigation is led by the University of Arizona.

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    First Published Date: 09 Dec, 14:57 IST
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