The B612 Foundation’s privately funded deep-space mission, Sentinel, received major support this week from prominent members of the business and financial community.

Steve Krausz, general partner at US Venture Partners; James Leszczenski, engineering manager at Facebook; and Shervin Pishevar, managing partner at Menlo Ventures have joined the Foundation’s Founding Circle, which contributes substantial funding to the mission and pledges continued support in areas of finance, technology and science.

The B612 Foundation has also received new support from the Margaret Jonsson Family Foundation of Dallas, Texas and the William K. Bowes Jr. Foundation of San Francisco.

The B612 Foundation plans to build, launch, and operate a space telescope to be placed in orbit around the Sun, ranging up to 170 million miles from Earth, for a mission of asteroid discovery and mapping. The telescope is expected to discover millions of asteroids. Sentinel will detect and track asteroids accurately enough to give warning of impending impacts decades in advance, allowing humanity to deflect threatening asteroids with existing technology.

To date, only about one percent of the nearly one million asteroids that could potentially hit Earth have been observed and tracked. Sentinel could surpass that in just the first few weeks of operation. Over five years of operation, it could track 100 times more asteroids than have been found to date.

B612 Foundation CEO, former NASA astronaut, and Google executive Ed Lu said, “Sentinel’s mission, to protect our Earth and provide a future map for exploration, has drawn supporters from around the world who want to make a difference and be part of this mission. Our Founding Circle members are making this mission a reality.”

Written by Astro1 on September 19th, 2012 , Planetary Defense

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