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NASA announces "Grand Challenge" to identify hazardous asteroids
Posted: Wed, Jun 19, 2013, 7:20 AM ET (1120 GMT)
NASA asteroid capture mission illustration (NASA) NASA announced on Tuesday a "Grand Challenge" to scientists and others to identify all asteroids that pose a threat to humans, and issued a call for ideas for that and its asteroid mission plans. The challenge is part of an Obama Administration initiative to propose "ambitious goals on a national or global scale" that drive innovation. It also ties into NASA's asteroid initiative plans, which include redirecting a near Earth asteroid into lunar orbit to be visited by astronauts. On Tuesday, NASA also released a request for information (RFI) for ideas on asteroid searches, mission concepts, and technologies. Ideas submitted through the RFI, which is open until July 18, will support NASA's mission planning efforts. NASA's efforts come as members of the House of Representatives are expected to introduce NASA authorization legislation that would, among other things, block NASA from working on an asteroid redirection mission.
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