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For two more years, NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or NEOWISE, will continue its hunt for asteroids and comets – including objects that could pose a hazard to Earth.
NASA has approved the Near-Earth Object Surveyor space telescope (NEO Surveyor) to move to the next phase of mission development after a successful mission review, authorizing the mission to move forward into Preliminary Design (known as Key Decision Point- B). The infrared space telescope is designed to help advance NASA’s planetary defense efforts by expediting our ability to discover and characterize most of the potentially hazardous asteroids and comets that come within 30 million miles of Earth’s orbit, collectively known as near-earth objects, or NEOs.
NASA has tasked Amy Mainzer, an expert in infrared astronomy at the University of Arizona, with leading NEO Surveyor, a mission to find, track and characterize yet unseen asteroids and comets that may pose a threat to Earth.