B612 Foundation Announces First Private Deep Space Telescope

Thursday morning, the B612 foundation will formally announce a mission to launch the first privately funded science mission to deep space, a telescope launched into solar orbit and tasked with searching the inner solar system for Near Earth Asteroids. The goal is to identify and map the trajectories of NEA’s in the inner solar system to allow for a future mission to demonstrate a means of asteroid deflection using long term, low power electric thrust.  It will be interesting to note whether the Department of Defense, or NRO, which spends billions of dollars a year on space programs looking back down on Earth, is participating in this effort looking out, and aimed at preventing a potential extinction level event.

The announcement serves as further evidence that the paradigm in space operations is already changing from the historical basis of government driven missions beyond Geostationary orbit.  It does raise the question, perhaps to be answered with the official introduction of whether there is any collaboration with the recently announced Planetary Resources venture.

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