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by Staff Writers
Mountain View CA (SPX) Sep 24, 2012
The world's first privately funded deep space mission - SENTINEL - received major support this week from prominent members of the business and financial community who joined the B612 Foundation's Founding Circle.
Founding Circle Members not only contribute substantial funding to the mission, but also pledge continued support in multiple areas of finance, technology and science.
In June, the B612 Foundation unveiled its plans to build, launch, and operate the first privately funded deep space mission, 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.
This premier scientific instrument will not only provide millions of asteroid discoveries, but may also help us prevent a major asteroid impact on Earth.
Sentinel will detect and track asteroids accurately enough to give decades of warning of impending impacts, enough to allow humanity to easily deflect threatening asteroids using existing technology.
To date, only about one percent of the nearly one million asteroids that could potentially hit Earth with devastating consequences have been observed and tracked.
In just the first few weeks of operation, Sentinel will surpass this total, and during five years of operation will track 100 times more asteroids than have been found by all other telescopes throughout history combined.
"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," said Ed Lu, B612 Foundation CEO and former astronaut and Google executive.
"Our Founding Circle members are making this mission a reality."
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