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March 25, 2014
NASA Announces Media Opportunities for Asteroid Forum

Media are invited to attend the agency's Asteroid Initiative Opportunities Forum on Wednesday, March 26, at NASA Headquarters in Washington or participate virtually. NASA Associate Administrator Robert Lightfoot will be available to speak with media in-person following the 12:30-4:30 p.m. EDT event.

The forum, which is open to industry, academia and interested individuals, will provide status updates from ongoing asteroid redirect mission studies and summarize how responses to a 2013 Request for Information (RFI) are helping improve mission planning activities. The event will also highlight opportunities for public engagement in the mission and activities associated with the Asteroid Grand Challenge.

Seating is limited. Media who wish to attend the forum must contact Sarah Ramsey no later than 9 a.m. Wednesday at sarah.ramsey@nasa.gov or 202-358-1694.

The forum will be carried on NASA Television and streamed online for virtual participants. Virtual participants may ask questions throughout the event on Twitter using the hashtag #askNASA. For more information on how to view the event, go to:


NASA’s Asteroid Initiative includes two separate, but related activities: the Asteroid Redirect Mission and the Asteroid Grand Challenge. NASA  currently is developing concepts for the mission, which will employ a robotic spacecraft to capture a small near-Earth asteroid, or remove a boulder from the surface of a larger asteroid, and redirect it into a stable orbit around the moon. Astronauts will travel aboard NASA's Orion spacecraft, launched on the Space Launch System rocket, to rendezvous in lunar orbit with the captured asteroid material. Once there, they will collect samples to return to Earth for study. New capabilities and systems tested through the Asteroid Initiative will advance NASA's ultimate goal of sending humans to Mars.

The grand challenge is seeking the best ideas to find all asteroid threats to human populations, and to accelerate the work that NASA is already doing for planetary defense.

The forum follows a Broad Agency Announcement issued March 21, which solicits ideas for alternate capture system concepts, rendezvous sensor systems, secondary payloads, feasibility studies on adapting commercial spacecraft buses for the mission and commercial and international partnership opportunities for the mission. For more information about the announcement, visit:


More than 400 responses were submitted in response to the 2013 asteroid initiative RFI, 96 of which were explored in depth at a two-part workshop in Houston in late 2013. NASA recently released a full report on the workshop activities and recommendations, which can be viewed at:


For more information about upcoming events and NASA's Asteroid Initiative, visit:



Sarah Ramsey / Trent J. Perrotto
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1694 / 202-358-1100
sarah.ramsey@nasa.gov / trent.j.perrotto@nasa.gov

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Page Last Updated: March 25th, 2014
Page Editor: Sonja Alexander