Astronaut Rusty Schweickart says the Near-Earth Object Camera telescope could locate most of the dangerous space rocks that NASA is mandated to find.
...Asteroids warmed by the sun, radioactive elements, or both will emit infrared light, even when they're too small or dark for ground-based telescopes to see. Which means NEOCam could spot them merely by their heat signatures.
The last instance it was denied, sources told Business Insider the proposal had no major technical weaknesses. Instead, it was a case of trying to jam a square peg into a round bureaucratic hole.