NEO Surveyor

NEO Surveyor

Near-Earth Object Surveyor Mission

Finding asteroids before they find us

Artist's image of an asteroid falling to Earth

The Near-Earth Object Surveyor (NEO Surveyor) is a space telescope that is designed to help advance NASA’s planetary defense efforts by using infrared bands to detect, track, and characterize Near Earth Objects (NEOs)—asteroids and comets that come within 48 million kilometers (30 million miles) of Earth’s orbit. NEO Surveyor consists of a single scientific instrument: a 50 centimeter (nearly 20 inch) diameter telescope that operates in two heat-sensing infrared wavelengths. It will be capable of detecting both bright and dark asteroids, which are the most difficult type to find. Scheduled to launch in 2026, the mission will help fulfill a Congressional mandate to catalog more than 90 percent of all NEOs larger than 140 meters (460 feet) across. 

Mission Class:

Larger Missions

Mission Status:


LASP Roles:

Mission Operations

Science Target:

Asteroid Belt

Mission Focus:


Primary Mission Site:

Artist's image of an asteroid falling to Earth

Launch Date: planned for 2026
Prime Mission: 5 years

Lead Institution: University of Arizona

Lead Funding Agency: NASA

Partners: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center at Caltech, Ball Aerospace, Space Dynamics Laboratory, Teledyne Imaging Sensors