Asteroids, Inc.

Asteroids, Inc.

September 25, 2015 - At the invitation of John Grunsfeld, the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA, Steve, Kahn, Zeljko Ivezic, and Mario Juric (shown L-R in the accompanying image) made a visit to NASA Headquarters in Washington to discuss LSST’s capabilities for near earth object (NEO) detection and orbit characterization. Matt Mountain and Heidi Hammel from AURA were also in attendance. Mario showed that while there remain some uncertainties regarding “false positives” that may arise in our image differencing algorithms, existing experience with DECam makes it very likely that LSST will detect ~ 70% of NEOs down to 140 m in size, and with some optimization of our cadence strategy, can increase the fraction to 85% or higher. This may lead to the possibility of NASA participation in the funding of LSST operations. Mario and his team will collaborate with Steve Chesley and colleagues at JPL to more fully characterize LSST’s reach in this domain of potentially hazardous asteroids.

Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Support Agreement No. 1202910, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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