NEOCam: Not Ready For Prime Time

NASA Selects Two Missions to Explore the Early Solar System, NASA

"In addition to selecting the Lucy and Psyche missions for formulation, the agency will extend funding for the Near Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) project for an additional year. The NEOCam space telescope is designed to survey regions of space closest to Earth's orbit, where potentially hazardous asteroids may be found."

NASA Cancels Space Act Agreement With B612 Foundation, earlier post

NASA Cancels B612 Sentinel Agreement and Then Picks JPL NEOCam, earlier post

Keith's earlier note: Isn't it a litte odd that the decision to cancel the Space Act Agreement with B612 for its "Sentinel" asteroid hunting mission suddenly came to light on the eve of Discovery mission finalists being announced -- and that JPL's asteroid hunting "NEOCam" mission is among those selected for further work?. These spacecraft even look a lot alike. JPL folks clearly saw Sentinel as competition - even if it was Sentinel team that first pushed the envelope on this whole idea. JPLers were pushing Lindley Johnson and others at NASA HQ to end the Sentinel agreement. At this point Johnson could use all the help he can get given how miserably his organization's NEO work has been progressing.

Keith's update: A lot of people in the planetary science community were pushing for an in-space NEO/asteroid detection capability such as this. For a while, NASA SMD used to get around the issue (and funding it) by saying "Oh, we don't have to worry about that, B612 is going to do that for us". But then the pressure from JPL began to mount and NASA pulled the rug out from under B612 to make the way easier for NEOCam. Now, a year later, they don't even pick NEOCam - but they keep it on life support - perhaps until JPL can submit another proposal next time.

  • submit to reddit


Loading





Join our mailing list




Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 4, 2017 1:57 PM.

NASA Discovery Mission Selections Announced was the previous entry in this blog.

House Science Committee Turns Up Climate Denial Activity is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.