Last week I wrote a post about criticism of NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). The Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG), founded by NASA to identify priorities and opportunities for the exploration of asteroids and other small bodies, has released a rough draft of their findings.

One idea mentioned a lot in the comments of the post was that the ARM would help in preparing a defense against approaching asteroids. However, the SBAG draft report is clearly critical of that idea.

The portion of the ARM concept that involves a robotic mission to capture and redirect an asteroid sample to cis-lunar space is not an effective way to advance the knowledge of asteroids or further planetary defense strategies.

The SBAG Steering Committee will finalize their report soon and send it to NASA. SBAG "provides findings to NASA Headquarters, but does not make recommendations." So NASA can ignore the findings.


Just so it's clear, I don't have an ax to grind against NASA or the Asteroid Redirect Mission. But I'm not a mindless cheerleader for NASA either. I think it is important to share and discuss legitimate criticism of a NASA project.