B612 Foundation’s Sentinel Telescope Will Cost $450 Million

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Dan Leone at Space News has a great update on plans by the B612 Foundation to launch its $450 million Sentinel asteroid-hunting telescope:

B612 plans to launch Sentinel in 2017 or 2018 aboard a Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Falcon 9 rocket, possibly as a secondary payload, according to Troeltzsch.

The telescope will be placed into a Venus-like orbit for its six-and-a-half-year mission to map the asteroids in the inner solar system with orbits that crisscross with Earth’s. Sentinel will be looking especially for space rocks with a diameter greater than 140 meters.

Stanford University professor Scott Hubbard, a former NASA official now working as B612’s program architect, said the Mountain View, Calif.-based foundation has raised about $2 million during the last six to eight months.

All funding raised so far has come from B612’s inner circle of angel investors, Hubbard said during the April 9 press briefing….

The foundation’s goal is to raise $30 million to $40 million a year for Sentinel, much of which likely will come from wealthy individuals, Hubbard said.

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