Satellite mission selected to explore binary asteroid

June 20, 2019

CU Boulder logoA team led by CU Boulder landed a coveted finalist spot in a new NASA program that will launch small satellites into space to explore the origins and evolution of the solar system.


June 19, 2019—
A team led by CU Boulder landed a coveted finalist spot in a new NASA program that will launch small satellites into space to explore the origins and evolution of the solar system. The CU Boulder group has proposed a mission that will send two of these miniature craft to rendezvous with and study a target binary asteroid, a pair of asteroids that revolve around each other in close proximity.

The selected missions have a maximum budget of $55 million, and NASA plans to launch at least one of the three finalists into space.

Daniel Scheeres, a professor in the Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, will lead the new mission, which is called Janus: Reconnaissance Missions to Binary Asteroids.

Members of the CU Boulder team are also co-investigators on NASA's ongoing OSIRIS-REx mission to study the asteroid Bennu.

Jay McMahon, an assistant professor in aerospace engineering and a member of the Janus team, and Bobby Braun, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, are available for interviews on today's selection.

Contact

Daniel Strain, CU Boulder media relations
daniel.strain@colorado.edu
303-735-5875

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