The world’s telescopes found a record number of near Earth objects (NEOs) in 2014, with 1,470 asteroid discoveries in the past year.  This was a 42 percent increase over the number of NEOs found in 2013. The running total of Near Earth Objects (with known orbits) reached 12,043 by the end of the year.

The Pan-STARS system in Hawaii found 619 NEOs, and the Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona tagged another 611. A brand new system in Chile designed to track distant galaxies in the southern sky — the Dark Energy Survey — discovered a further 131 Near Earth Objects.

While this is excellent progress, there is still much work to be done in this field. The still-unseen near Earth asteroids and comets, larger than 1 meter in diameter, are estimated to number more than two million.

Of the NEOs tracked to date, 1,533 are cataloged as “potentially” hazardous to Earth.  None of these actually threaten Earth now, but NEO orbits are not stable and random events can move them into new trajectories that could be problematic.  The official definition of potentially hazardous covers NEOs that come within 4.65 million miles of Earth and are at least 150 meters in size – about 500 feet – large enough to level Los Angeles or London.

However, the Chelyabinsk air burst in 2013 caused extensive property damage and the object was less than 20 meters in diameter.  Including Chelyabinsk-size asteroids would boost the potentially hazardous count to about 10,000 objects.

As the number of identified Near Earth Objects continues to grow, so does the need for reliable methodologies of mitigating the threat of object impact.  Deep Space Industries is developing an Electromagnetic Regolith Rocket that can use an asteroid’s own surface soil as propellant to alter the objects trajectory.  This rocket is specifically designed to deflect threatening objects that are discovered with only a few year’s warning before impact.  This innovative technology would replace the controversial approach of using nuclear weapons to blow up asteroids, which would produce debris with hard-to-predict trajectories.

News from Deep Space:

Bill Miller, Veteran Start-Up Strategist, Joins DSI as Chief Executive Officer

Deep Space Industries is excited to announce that Bill Miller will be joining the company as Chief Executive Officer to position DSI for rapid growth in the coming years. With an impeccable track record of growing technology companies, Bill brings game-changing approaches, solutions, and perspectives to DSI through his experience in defining, developing, and delivering results for dynamic organizations. Read More…

Three Great Space Nonprofits

As the season of giving draws near now is the time to share that spirit with nonprofits! Nonprofit organizations receive the majority of their donations around the holiday season. Deep Space Industries is a proud sponsor for these deserving organizations working hard to build a better and brighter tomorrow for this generation and those to come. Read More…

Prospector-X, Prospector-1, and Comet-1 are trademarks of Deep Space Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. 

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