NASA is developing A space telescope designed to discover the hardest-to-find asteroids and comets that get deflected towards Earth’s orbital neighborhood Near-Earth Object Surveyor (NEO Surveyor,,
According to a publication of the US space agency, NEO Surveyor has recently passed a rigorous technical and programmatic review. The mission is now transitioning into the final stages of design and construction and is establishing its technical, cost and schedule benchmarks.
The telescope comes as part of the NASA Authorization Act of 2005, which calls for the discovery and characterization of at least 90% of near-Earth objects larger than 140 meters (460 ft) that are 30 million miles (48 million miles) across. million kilometers). the orbit of our planet.
Objects of this size are capable of causing significant regional damage, or worse, if they hit Earth, something Lindley Johnson, NASA Planetary Defense Officer at PDCO, fully understands: “NEO Surveyor represents NASA’s next generation capability to rapidly detect, track and characterize potentially hazardous NEOs.,
,Ground-based telescopes are essential for us to constantly observe the skies, but a space-based infrared observatory is the latest high ground that will enable NASA’s planetary defense strategy.,
Telescope will go to L1 Lagrange point
NEO Surveyor will travel a million miles to an area of gravitational stability called Lagrange point L1between earth and sunwhere the spacecraft will orbit during its primary five-year mission.
From this location, NEO Surveyor will view the Solar System at infrared wavelengths, light that is invisible to the human eye. Because those wavelengths are mostly blocked by Earth’s atmosphere, ground-based observatories larger than this space telescope can miss near-Earth objects. You will be able to detect this using a modest light gathering aperture of about 50 cm,
NEO Surveyor’s state-of-the-art detectors are designed to observe two heat-sensitive infrared bands that were specifically chosen so the spacecraft can track the most difficult-to-Earth objects such as dark asteroids and comets. reflect light.
In addition, NEO Surveyor, which will be a reality in 2028, will be able to find asteroids approaching Earth from the direction of the Sun, as well as asteroids leading and following our planet’s orbit, where they would normally be. are unclear. The brightness of the sun
Amy Menzer, director of mission research at the University of Arizona in Tucson, said: “For the first time in the history of our planet, the inhabitants of Earth are developing ways to protect the Earth by deflecting dangerous asteroids. But before we can divert them, we must first find them. NEO Surveyor will prove to be a game changer in that endeavor.,