This morning at the California Academy of Sciences, a team of former astronauts, space scientists, NASA alums, and other concerned citizens of the solar system announced an unprecedented initiative to place a solar-orbiting telescope in deep space. The B612 Foundation wants to map the inner solar system’s asteroid inhabitants and chart their orbits over the next hundred years. And to do so, it will build, launch, and operate the first privately funded deep space mission in the history of human spaceflight.
As a privately undertaken spaceflight enterprise, the Sentinel Mission is an ambitious undertaking. But B612 (the name of the foundation comes from the fictional asteroid that is home to the title character in the French literary classic The Little Prince) CEO Ed Lu is surprised that it has taken this long for someone to do this.
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