With NASA's recent interest in human missions to a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) comes a desire to catalog the NEA population. This activity is valuable to NASA explorers and scientists as well as all humans because of the potential consequences of an NEA impacting Earth. The B612 Foundation has been considering NEA threats since 2002, and has recently embarked on a project to privately fund and build the Sentinel mission. This mission will survey the NEA population to determine their orbits with enough precision to project the orbits forward, ultimately identifying human mission targets or potential impact threats.
In this LASP Public Lecture from December 12, 2012, Dr. Harold Reitsema of the B612 Foundation discussed what we know about NEAs and presented the current status of the Sentinel project.
LASP will coordinate mission operations and science data processing for the Sentinel mission.