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Recent Altius Contract Wins: What Do They Mean? (Part 2 of 2)

30 Jun 2014, 20:15 UTC
Recent Altius Contract Wins: What Do They Mean? (Part 2 of 2)
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In the last post, I introduced the two SBIR Select Phase 1 contracts that Altius has commenced work on. This blog post will focus on the other two Asteroid Redirect Mission contracts which mentioned there. These have been selected for contract negotiation, but aren’t active contracts yet, so I will try to be a little more high-level in this blog post.
Asteroid Redirect Mission Background
Before jumping into a discussion of our contract wins, I’d like to provide a short background on NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission for those who haven’t been following the mission closely. Starting around 2011, NASA has been studying Near Earth Objects (NEOs) as a potential next destination for human exploration. While there have been some innovative industry ideas for how to do this, such as the “Plymouth Rock” mission conceived by Josh Hopkins’ group at Lockheed Martin, a Keck Institute study from the 2011-2013 timeframe suggested an alternative to visiting a “free-range” NEO—sending a robot out to bring a whole NEO back to lunar orbit for further study. This “asteroid heist” approach has the benefit of both bringing a lot more material back to the Earth-Moon system (almost an ISS-equivalent mass!) on the first mission, and ...

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