A new detector instrument is being planned to locate and track possible destinations for astronauts.
NASA's manned space program includes a plan to send humans on a manned mission to an asteroid at some point in the 2020s. To help determine which asteroid would be a suitable target the space agency is planning to piggy-back a detection system on a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. The system would keep a look out for asteroids that are near enough to the Earth to reach.
"The instrument would point outward from Earth and must be capable of detecting near-Earth asteroids in very Earth-like orbits, and capable of detecting asteroids of as little as 30 meters in diameter," NASA officials have said.
"The space agency has released a request for information seeking ideas for a sensor to discover a hypothesized set of asteroids very near Earth, opening the possibility for exploration by future astronaut crews."
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Source: Spaceflight Now
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