Planetary Resources and NASA team up to crowdsource the search for asteroids

Planetary Resources really wants to mine asteroids for valuable materials, but first it has to find them. So the company is partnering with NASA on a crowdsourcing project that would put the American public to work identifying and tracking near-Earth-objects (NEOs). All the data generated will be open sourced and made publicly available on the web. The effort will center on a series of challenges and contests designed to lure in citizen scientists and the results will be reviewed by Planetary Resources. Obviously, the company will be looking for mineable hunks of space rock, but it will also be giving back to the scientific community by using the data it collects to improve algorithms for detecting asteroids. And, obviously, the more of those we're able to detect and track, the less likely we are to be caught off guard by a meteorite apocalypse. To be notified when the program kicks off, sign up for more info at the Planetary Resources site.