NASA announced Tuesday a Grand Challenge focused on finding all asteroid threats to human populations and knowing what to do about them.

The challenge, which was announced at an asteroid initiative industry and partner day at NASA Headquarters in Washington, is a large-scale effort that will use multi-disciplinary collaborations and a variety of partnerships with other government agencies, international partners, industry, academia, and citizen scientists. It complements NASA’s recently announced mission to redirect an asteroid and send humans to study it.

“NASA already is working to find asteroids that might be a threat to our planet, and while we have found 95 percent of the large asteroids near the Earth’s orbit, we need to find all those that might be a threat to Earth,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver. “This Grand Challenge is focused on detecting and characterizing asteroids and learning how to deal with potential threats. We will also harness public engagement, open innovation and citizen science to help solve this global problem.”

Grand Challenges are ambitious goals on a national or global scale that capture the imagination and demand advances in innovation and breakthroughs in science and technology. They are an important element of President Obama’s Strategy for American Innovation.

“I applaud NASA for issuing this Grand Challenge because finding asteroid threats, and having a plan for dealing with them, needs to be an all-hands-on-deck effort,” said Tom Kalil, deputy director for technology and innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. “The efforts of private-sector partners and our citizen scientists will augment the work NASA already is doing to improve near-Earth object detection capabilities.”

NASA also released a request for information (RFI) that invites industry and potential partners to offer ideas on accomplishing NASA’s goal to locate, redirect, and explore an asteroid, as well as find and plan for asteroid threats. The RFI is open for 30 days, and responses will be used to help develop public engagement opportunities and a September industry workshop.

To watch the archived video of Tuesday’s asteroid initiative industry and partner day, visit:

http://youtube.com/nasatelevision

For more information about NASA’s asteroid initiative, including presentations from Tuesday’s event and a link to the new RFI, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/asteroidinitiative

Asteroid Initiative Request for Information

NASA has released a Request for Information (RFI) on system concepts and innovative approaches for both aspects of the recently announced Asteroid Initiative. The initiative includes an Asteroid Redirect Mission, and an increased focus on defending our planet against the threat of catastrophic asteroid collisions.

Solicitation Number: NNH13ZCQ001L
Reference Number: N/A
NAIS Posted Date: June 18, 2013
FedBizOpps Posted Date: June 18, 2013
Response Date:July 18, 2013
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action? No
Classification Code: A – Research and Development
NAICS Code: 336414 – Guided Missile and Space Vehicle Manufacturing
Set-Aside Code:N/A

Download the RFI from FedBizOpps

Respondents should review RFI submission guidelines outlined in the RFI.

Posted by: Soderman/NLSI Staff
Source: NASA

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