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Thomas Zurbuchen: NASA Eyes Space Telescope for Detection of Hazardous Asteroids

1 min read

Jeff Brody
Thomas Zurbuchen

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA, said the space agency plans to build a space-based telescope to identify and track near-Earth objects that could pose potential threats to the planet, GeekWire reported Monday. Zurbuchen said at a meeting of NASA’s Planetary Science Advisory Committee Monday the proposed infrared telescope for the NEO Surveillance Mission will use the technologies created for the NEOCam telescope.

He noted that the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will play a key role in the development of the NEO Surveillance Mission, which will function as a planetary defense mission. The proposed telescope is expected to take off by 2025 to detect 65 percent of 140-meter-wide near-Earth asteroids within five years following the launch, according to the report.