Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

android tablet pc

Home > Press > Deep Space Applauds NASA Asteroid Initiative - Calls for Collaboration with Private Sector

NASA's new project to retrieve and study a small asteroid represents an opportunity to do things a new way in space, says Deep Space Industries. NASA's asteroid plans, if coupled with private sector initiatives, will be a great start to understanding both the threat and promise of space objects - saving taxpayer funds while also helping kick start a new U.S.-led commercial space industry.

Deep Space Applauds NASA Asteroid Initiative - Calls for Collaboration with Private Sector

Houston, TX | Posted on April 10th, 2013

"As we have just seen, asteroids are a real and present danger, but they also hold the promise of vast resources," said Deep Space Chairman Rick Tumlinson. "We need to understand them, yet in the current fiscal climate we also need to do so on a budget, and show something for our investment - and that means involving the private sector from the start."

For example, finding and understanding which asteroids should be candidates for such a project can be done relatively cheaply - if private groups and companies are involved. Deep Space Industries believes the commercial space resources industry can provide key insights on which targets offer the most potential for accelerating space development, and how they can be returned at the lowest cost with NASA as the customer rather than the operator of missions.

"The recent Keck Institute study suggested tracking down a free-orbiting 22-foot rock and stuffing it into a bag," said Deep Space Industries CEO David Gump. "The B612 Foundation's plan to place telescope inside the Earth's orbit would be a good way to begin looking for such an object. However, before we send out an expensive NASA robotic mission to do the 'tag and bag‘, we need to be sure that what telescopes have seen is not a much smaller asteroid that is very bright, or a much bigger one that is very dark - and that means prospecting up close first - something we can do much cheaper, better and faster than the government."

Deep Space points out that we cannot reliably estimate the size of an asteroid from its brightness as seen from Earth. Size is estimated based on an assumed "average" reflectivity (or albedo), but almost no asteroids exist in this "average" brightness range - almost all are either much darker (and thus much bigger than the estimate) or much lighter (and thus smaller than the estimate). One asteroid studied by Deep Space Industries could have a mass of 27,000 tons if it's a dark carbonaceous chondrite (C- or D-class asteroid) or only 1,400 tons if it's a bright rock such as an E-class asteroid.

NASA should partner with commercial asteroid companies to first create a prospecting campaign that visits potential targets and identifies the best technologies for retrieving them, before committing its money to the free-floating rock-in-a-bag approach says Deep Space, whose small FireFly class missions are planned for as early as 2015 at a cost of just a few million dollars each.

"Our notebook of asteroid knowledge has many blank pages," said DSI Chief Scientist Dr. John S. Lewis, author of the authoritative asteroid books Rain of Iron and Ice and Mining the Sky. "NASA solved a similar problem for the Apollo program by sending a series of small and relatively inexpensive robotic precursors, starting with Pioneer flybys, Ranger high-speed impactors, Lunar Orbiter mapping surveys, and Surveyor landers. Such a phased robotic program is just what is required now - except this time we can make sure our investment enables much more than flags and footprints."


For more information, please click here

Deep Space Industries
1350 Beverly Road Suite 823
McLean, VA 22101
Nancy Ostertag
855-855-7755 x 515

Copyright © Deep Space Industries

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Graphene chips are close to significant commercialization October 1st, 2014

Production of Filters for Separation of Water from Petroleum Products in Iran October 1st, 2014

Yale University and Leica Microsystems Partner to Establish Microscopy Center of Excellence: Yale Welcomes Scientists to Participate in Core Facility Opening and Super- Resolution Workshops October 20 Through 31, 2014 September 30th, 2014

Speed at its limits September 30th, 2014


NREL Announces New Center Directors to lead R&D, Analysis Efforts September 30th, 2014

A Heartbeat Away? Hybrid "Patch" Could Replace Transplants: TAU researcher harnesses gold nanoparticles to engineer novel biocompatible cardiac patch September 30th, 2014

How things coil: Researchers discover that simulation technology designed for Hollywood can be used as a predictive tool for understanding fundamental engineering problems September 29th, 2014

UT Arlington researchers develop transparent nanoscintillators for radiation detection for medical safety and homeland security September 29th, 2014

Possible Futures

Air Force’s 30-year plan seeks 'strategic agility' August 1st, 2014

IBM Announces $3 Billion Research Initiative to Tackle Chip Grand Challenges for Cloud and Big Data Systems: Scientists and engineers to push limits of silicon technology to 7 nanometers and below and create post-silicon future July 10th, 2014

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014


Graphene chips are close to significant commercialization October 1st, 2014

Production of Filters for Separation of Water from Petroleum Products in Iran October 1st, 2014

New Topical Hemostatic Agent: Neutral Self-Assembling Peptide Hydrogel September 30th, 2014

Chemical interactions between silver nanoparticles and thiols: A comparison of mercaptohexanol again September 30th, 2014


Teijin Aramid’s carbon nanotube fibers awarded with Paul Schlack prize: New generation super fibers bring wave of innovations to fiber market September 25th, 2014

Smallest-possible diamonds form ultra-thin nanothread September 25th, 2014

Smallest possible diamonds form ultra-thin nanothreads: Diamond nanothreads are likely to have extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers September 22nd, 2014

Iranian Researchers Synthesize Stable Ceramic Nanopowders at Room Temperature September 20th, 2014

The latest news from around the world, FREE

  Premium Products
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More

Nanotechnology Now Featured Books


The Hunger Project

© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE