Entries in Satellite Sentinel Project (2)


Asteroid Hunters Announce First Private Deep Space Mission

Artist's Rendering. Hemera/Thinkstock(MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.) -- Asteroids could be heading for Earth right now, and the world should not have to live in fear. At least that’s the message of a group of scientists and former astronauts working on the issue. They announced plans today to launch the first privately funded deep space mission in history, a space telescope that would make sure the coast is clear for us.

The SENTINEL mission, announced by the B612 Foundation, would send a telescope into orbit around the sun in order to track small to mid-sized asteroids that could threaten Earth. NASA already works with a network of astronomers to track the most dangerous near-Earth asteroids, those more than two thirds of a mile across. They say they believe they have already identified nearly 90 percent of those deadly space rocks.

However, there is very little data on an estimated 500 million smaller objects that could do us harm — like whatever exploded over the Tunguska region of Siberia in 1908, leveling over 800 miles of forest.  The chairman and CEO of the B612 Foundation, former astronaut Ed Lu, says this is a problem.  He flew on the space shuttle, the International Space Station and Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

“We’ve identified and mapped only about one percent of these asteroids to date,” Lu said at a press conference. “During its 5.5-year mission survey time, Sentinel will discover and track half a million Near Earth Asteroids, creating a dynamic map that will provide the blueprint for future exploration of our solar system, while protecting the future of humanity on Earth.”

Don’t expect that dynamic map anytime soon. Launch of the Sentinel telescope is targeted for 2017 or 2018 -- that is, if the project, which would cost several hundred million of dollars, is able to find funding.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Clooney’s Satellite Project Confirms Troop Presence in Sudan

Photo Courtesy - White House Press(WASHINGTON) – A satellite project co-founded by actor George Clooney has confirmed reports of company-sized deployments of Sudanese Armed Forces troops in the Abyei region of Sudan.

The Satellite Sentinel Project has spotted the troops on both sides of the volatile North-South border in numbers consistent with other sources that estimate as many as 55,000 SAF troops along the South Kordofan border.

“These first images and analysis have deepened our understanding of the evolving situation following Southern Sudan’s historic vote on independence,” Clooney said in a statement. “Although the SAF in South Kordofan apparently remains a force largely in hiding, we showed they are field-deployed, and they are controlling major roads by running checkpoints.”

The imagery, however, depicts stationary forces that “are not showing signs of advancing,” according to Clooney and the SSP. The news could mean more time to address unresolved issues between the North and South to avoid further conflict.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Sudan's foreign minister Wednesday and “reaffirmed U.S. willingness to take steps toward normalization of relations,” according to a readout. Those steps would come as Sudan makes continued efforts toward fulfilling commitments set forth by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement which, among other obligations, would require a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Darfur.

The SSP was launched by Clooney late last year as a way to publically monitor security threats along the border.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio