NASA to resurrect planet hunting satellite


NASA is preparing to resurrect the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Asteroid hunter satellite that has been out of commission for nearly 3 years. This move is due to new found interest in Asteroid mining, which is expected to change the world in the coming years ahead.

In its time on active duty, before NASA pulled the plug in 2011, WISE picked up on over 33,500 asteroids, with more than a dozen of that number is considered a threat to Earth’s well being. The resurrection of WISE is not only for the purpose of asteroid mining, but to continue its previous job as a means to help humans pinpoint dangerous asteroids.

“The WISE mission achieved its mission’s goals and as NEOWISE extended the science even further in its survey of asteroids. NASA is now extending that record of success, which will enhance our ability to find potentially hazardous asteroids, and support the new asteroid initiative,” according to John Grunsfeld, NASA’s associate administrator for science.

Once WISE is up and running again, the satellite will scan space for objects close to Earth with its 16-inch long telescope. Furthermore, any object spotted by WISE within 28 million miles of Earth is considered a NEO, WISE will then proceed to record its size, albedo, and temperature.

If everything goes according to plan, WISE will spot many asteroids with mining possibilities.

[via JPL, image via Fickr]

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  1. Darcy

    [@JonE] If they are planning to repair it in orbit, they should make another stop to get the Kepler planet hunting satellite telescope working again too. More likely they will launch another though. Technological advances and the cost of sending up a repair crew rather than just launching a new one make that the better option.

  2. JonE

    Just wondering,how are they going to go about doing this; launch a new satellite or repair the one already in orbit. And if it’s to be repaired how are they going to do that? Just wondering?