Friday, June 27, 2008

Asteroid-hunting Satellite A World First

NewScientist online is reporting that Canada is building the world's first space telescope designed to detect and track asteroids. Called NEOSSat (Near Earth Object Surveillance Satellite), the new satellite will to detect and study asteroids that pose a collision hazard with Earth. What's more it does it small and cheap! Weighing a mere 65-kilograms, and costing about $12-million , shows off once again Canada's expertise in compact "microsatellite" design. NEOSSat will be the size of a large suitcase, and is cost-effective because of its small size and ability to "piggyback" on the launch of other spacecraft. Its main optics will be a telescope with a 15-centimetre mirror, smaller than many backyard telescopes used by amateur astronomers.

<More from NewScientist>
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