posted on Feb, 25 2013 @ 05:28 AM
Whereas all satellites are aimed downward towards earth, this satellite will be purposefully placed to observe for meteros, asteroids and of course
space debris, as in the picture below. It is the size of a suitcase and consists of a space telescope.
In just under two hours from now we can watch the launch live.
NEOSSat is designed to specifically look for Aten asteroids that can’t be seen from the ground because of the scattering of the sun’s light in
The specific research goals are
■To use NEOSSat to discover new near-Earth asteroids by searching the sky along the ecliptic plane as close to the Sun as its microsatellite
custom baffle design allows (to within 45° of the Sun). This search will focus on two groups of asteroids; one called Atens (asteroids with orbits
mostly within the Earth`s (although they cross Earth’s orbit at their farthest points from the Sun) and, in particular, Atiras (asteroids whose
entire orbit is within Earth’s).
■To conduct follow-up tracking of any near-Earth asteroids discovered by NEOSSat and other search programs.
■To assess potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) by better defining their orbital parameters.
■To monitor comets when they come close to the Sun, and to check suspected comets for outgassing activity.
■To provide ground-based radar-imaging programs with accurate targeting locations.
There is also an article ou might find interesting
“Once we detect and track them, we can project their orbit and then forecast ahead — sometimes years or decades [in advance] — where and
when they will cross Earth’s orbit.
This is so exciting! Had it been launched before the Russian explosion, I wonder how much warning time there would have been and whether it could
have been deflected. That's what everyone is hoping this monitoring system will be able to do, warn us and allow for some kind of deflection and
There are some exciting times ahead! Let's hope they keep us informed of the discoveries they make and allow us to share in the excitement. If they
can determine an asteroid's path and track it, then appropriate plans can be made.
(visit the link for the full news article)