Spaceflight Insider

News Archive / Tagged: asteroid

  • Swarm of nanosatellites could visit over 300 asteroids

    Tomasz NowakowskiNovember 12th, 2017

    European scientists have proposed a mission consisting of 50 tiny spacecraft, which could visit and study over 300 asteroids in a timespan of just over three years. The concept, named Asteroid Touring Nanosat Fleet, was presented at the European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) 2017 that took place in September in Riga, Latvia.

  • Industry expert: Asteroid mining could begin within the next 10–20 years

    Tomasz NowakowskiOctober 31st, 2017

    Mining the countless space rocks found in our Solar System for valuable resources could become a reality within two decades. This is according to J.L. Galache of Aten Engineering. However, he cautions that there are still many challenges that must first be overcome to make it happen that quickly.

  • Close approach of asteroid 2012 TC4 poses no danger to Earth

    Tomasz NowakowskiOctober 11th, 2017

    The house-sized asteroid 2012 TC4 is slated to give Earth a close shave on Thursday, October 12, 2017, at 05:42 UTC (1:42 a.m. EDT), swooshing by our planet at a distance of about 31,161 miles (50,150 kilometers). Although there were some worries that this rocky object could hit the Earth, latest observations confirm that it poses no danger to our home planet at all.

  • Newly discovered football field-sized asteroid to pass by Earth on Monday

    Tomasz NowakowskiSeptember 23rd, 2017

    A newly detected football field-sized asteroid, designated 2017 RW1, is slated to miss our planet on Monday, September 25, 2017. The space rock, estimated to be 34–110 meters in diameter, is expected to fly by Earth at a distance of approximately 10.9 lunar distances (LD), or 4.19 million kilometers.

  • Giant asteroid crashed into Mars billions of years ago, study suggests

    Tomasz NowakowskiJuly 24th, 2017

    The complex geology of Mars and the origin of its two small irregular moons has mystified planetary scientists for some time. A new study, published in June in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, reveals that the Red Planet had suffered a giant asteroid collision nearly four-and-a-half billion years ago which could account for some of Mars' geological oddities.

  • MIT students studying mission to asteroid Apophis

    Bart LeahyJune 10th, 2017

    Apophis, an asteroid the size of an aircraft carrier, will make a close approach to Earth in 2029. It will come within approximately 18,300 miles (29,500 kilometers), less than one-tenth the distance from Earth to the Moon. A group of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is designing a mission to study the asteroid up close as it passes by.

  • OSIRIS-REx Camera Suite to unveil the real nature of asteroid Bennu

    Tomasz NowakowskiMay 4th, 2017

    NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft is on its way to uncovering the secrets of an intriguing carbonaceous asteroid named Bennu, which holds many clues about the formation of the Sun and planets. With the help of its imaging system, the probe is expected to deliver crucial insights into the real nature of this rocky body, improving our understanding of the evolution of the Solar System.

  • New NASA mission could solve mystery of asteroid Psyche’s water

    Tomasz NowakowskiJanuary 10th, 2017

    Although Psyche is thought to be made of metal, scientists have recently found the presence of water on this minor planet. The new findings could be confirmed and further studied by a newly announced NASA mission – also named Psyche.

  • NASA selects Lucy and Psyche for next Discovery missions

    Paul KnightlyJanuary 4th, 2017

    NASA announced in a news release its next Discovery-class missions will be Lucy and Psyche. The missions will study an array of unexplored asteroids, with Lucy embarking on a tour of Jupiter's Trojan asteroids and Psyche setting course for the metallic asteroid 16 Psyche.

  • PANIC lander could revolutionize asteroid research

    Tomasz NowakowskiDecember 20th, 2016

    A U.S.-German team of researchers has proposed to develop a micro-scale, low-cost surface lander for the in situ characterization of an asteroid. The tiny spacecraft, called the Pico Autonomous Near-Earth Asteroid In Situ Characterizer (PANIC), could be a breakthrough for the scientific community, offering simple and cheap solutions for asteroid research.