World's First Orbiting Telescope Launch Planned For 2018: Official Press Release, First Line of Asteroid Defense System

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By Daniel Joseph Cruz | April 28, 2014 5:09 PM EST

B612 Foundation, along with three former NASA astronauts, has presented the data collected on the actual asteroid that hit the Earth since 2000 up to the present.

The foundation aims to build the world's first system that will warn the Earth for any incoming asteroid in the future. In the recent findings, former U.S. shuttle astronaut and CEO for B612, former NASA astronaut Tome Jones, Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders, together with the Nuclear Ban Test Treaty Organization discussed there were 26 asteroid hits reported on Earth from 2000 to 2013.

These asteroids were luckily to have only hit the Earth's atmosphere, and were too high to cause serious damage to the ground. But according to the studies, the asteroids' energy bursts in the atmosphere were around 1,600 kilotons. B612 foundation explained the amount of 15 kilotons is the same with a nuclear bomb's energy.

In a recent press conference on Earth day, April 22, held at Seattle Museum of Flight, Seattle, Wash., B612 Foundation and the three Astronauts have stressed the importance of the asteroids' threat to the Earth. They presented a visual of how often the Earth is frequently hit by asteroids. In B612's new video, it shows the 26 locations of the asteroid impacts and the graphical data for each.

CREDIT:Mashable/YouTube

In the presentation, one good example given its attendees was the recent Chelyabinsk asteroid incident that widely spread the news in 2013. B612 and key speakers reminded everyone that what happened in Russia before was not detected by any existing space-based observatory crafts.

In the official press release released by the B612 Foundation, it announced the plan to build the "Sentinel Space Telescope Mission.". Its purpose was to track and detect asteroids from millions of miles away.

B612 said it would be Earth's first line of protection against any Earth-crossing asteroids. The Sentinel will be the Earth's first privately funded space mission that will identify the current and future locations of potential asteroids to hit the Earth. B612 further presented the Sentinel project will already detect 200,000 asteroids in its first year of operation in its launch in 2018.

A notable speech to stress the importance of the project was, "Because we don't know where or when the next major impact will occur, the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a "city-killer" sized asteroid has been blind luck," Dr. Lu said in B612 Foundation's press release.

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