This phase 1 NASA NIAC funded study was awarded to Peter Gural of Trans Astronautica Corporation.
1: NEOs are an impact hazard to the Earth.
2: Measuring NEO population distributions will unlock the answers to critical questions dealing with the formation and evolution of the solar system.
3: Most importantly, low ?V NEOs can be targets for human exploration and resource mining. Finding them will enable breakthrough missions.
NEOs represent an invaluable source of material for radiation shielding, propellant, and life support consumables that may significantly reduce the cost of NASA's planned deep space human exploration program. By finding a plentiful supply of resource-rich NEOs, Sutter Survey enables an industrial gold rush into space, supplying propellant to NASA human explorers in cislunar space and new industries beyond LEO. Later, as humanity expands throughout the solar system, asteroids will become a nearly inexhaustible resource that future explorers and settlers use to build habitats and supply their spacecraft as stepping stones to the solar system. It is estimated that the resources of the asteroid belt will supply comfortable living space for up to a trillion human beings.