24 October 2013


Neil deGrasse Tyson, astronauts, cosmonauts to discuss
vital next steps for asteroid detection and mitigation

WHEN: Friday, October 25
Program starts at 11 am sharp

WHAT: There are about a million near-Earth asteroids that are large enough to substantially damage or destroy a major city, as evidenced by the explosion over Chelyabinsk, Russia, this past February of a meteor no bigger than a large truck, which injured more than 1,000 people.

With current space technology, scientists know how to deflect the majority of hazardous near-Earth objects, but prevention is only possible if nations work together on detection and deflection. Learn about the risks and the steps that are needed to avoid these potential natural disasters from a group of astronauts and cosmonauts who have flown for three different space agencies—and who were instrumental in developing recommendations to the United Nations for defending Earth from asteroid impact. Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts the discussion, which comes the same week as the United Nations General Assembly adopts measures creating an international decision-making mechanism for planetary asteroid defense. The Museum and the Association of Space Explorers (ASE)—the professional society of astronauts and cosmonauts—are cohosting this timely discussion.

WHO: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium

Thomas Jones, former NASA astronaut, senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, and ASE Near Earth Objects Committee member

Russell Schweickart, former NASA astronaut, ASE co-founder and Near Earth Objects Committee member, and co-founder and chairman emeritus of the B612 Foundation

Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu, former Romanian astronaut, ASE co-founder and Near Earth Objects Committee member, and vice president of the European International Institute for Risk, Security, and Communication Management

Soichi Noguchi, engineer and JAXA astronaut, and ASE Near Earth Objects Committee member

Edward Lu, former NASA astronaut, ASE Near Earth Objects Committee member, and co-founder, chairman, and CEO of the B612 Foundation

WHERE: Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Hall of the Universe. Press should enter at the 81st Street entrance between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue.

This event will be live streamed at amnh.org/live.