17 April, 2015
ASE participated in the International Academy of Astronautics 2015 Planetary Defense Conference, held in Frascati, Italy at the ESA ESRIN Center from April 13-17. In attendance for ASE were Tom Jones (Chairman of the ASE Committee on Near-Earth Objects), Dorin Prunariu (who represented the Romanian Space Agency), and Oleg Atkov, who delivered one of the keynote addresses, on the implications of the 2013 Chelyabinsk impact for planetary defense planning.
The meeting included the following presentation and discussion topics:
Planetary Defense - Recent Progress & Plans
Mitigation Techniques & Missions
Impact Effects that Inform Warning, Mitigation & Costs
Consequence Management & Education
The conference program is at: http://www.pdc2015.org/?q=ipc
Video replays of the conference presentations are available at: http://www.esa.int/spaceinvideos/Sets/PDC2015
Both Tom and Dorin participated in the week-long impact exercise where conferees simulated the decision-making process for developing deflection and civil defense responses to a hypothetical asteroid threat.
Before the conference, on April 9-10, Tom and Dorin participated in the meeting of the Space Missions Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG), where space agencies meet to plan possible asteroid deflection campaigns, identify technologies needed for deflection, and advise on what the appropriate technical response might be to a future impact threat. ASE participated as an observer at the SMPAG meeting, which continues international collaboration on the impact hazard begun at the United Nations with important assistance from ASE. The SMPAG website is at: http://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/smpag
3 December 2014
On December 3, the ASE NEO Committee signed the 100X Asteroid Declaration calling for an accelerated effort to identify potential Earth-impacting asteroids. The ASE also became a founding partner of Asteroid Day, a global movement to protect the Earth from asteroids.
Click here to see the videos and photos from the Asteroid Day press conference.
25 June 2014
ASE Committee Chairman Tom Jones represented the ASE NEO Committee at the June, 2014 meetings of the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in Vienna, Austria | Read the Report
Here is a press roundup from the October 25 NEO event at AMNH:
LA Times: http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-un-asteroid-defense-plan-20131028,0,5301471.story#axzz2j0d9bA2j
Popular Mechanics: http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/space/news/detecting-and-deflecting-a-killer-asteroid-16084695
Universe Today: http://www.universetoday.com/105757/what-if-earth-was-under-attack-by-an-asteroid-astronaut-panel-brings-up-ideas-to-search-deflect-these-threats/
NBC News: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/astronauts-point-next-frontier-stopping-killer-asteroids-8C11459971
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/25/tyson-asteroids-discussion-livestream_n_4163461.html
The ASE NEO Committee celebrates UN adoption of key components of its Asteroid Threats: A Call for Global Response recommendations with a panel discussion at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
Read the ASE NEO Statement
Read the Press Release
Agreement for enhanced international coordination to deal with potential asteroid threats reached at
United Nations | Read it
Recommendations of the Action Team on Near-Earth Objects for an international response to the near-Earth object impact threat
27 February 2013
NEO Committee Status report and update | Read it
19 February 2013
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, on board the International Space Station, talks about the NEO threat | Video
15 February 2013
ASE NEO Committee Chair Tom Jones delivers statement to the UN/COPUOS Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
13 February 2013 Status Update:
Asteroid Flyby, Astronaut Message from Space Station Remind Us We Can Shield Earth from Future Strike
Tom Jones – email@example.com
· Friday (2/15) will see a near-miss of Earth by the biggest asteroid to come this close. 2012 DA14, half the size of a football field, will streak by Earth within 18,000 miles, within the 22,000-mile high orbit of most communication satellites. The asteroid will miss Earth and has a very small chance of hitting any satellite.
· NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab says a close approach from such a large object happens every 40 years or so. On average, an asteroid this big strikes Earth about every thousand years. The last known impact of this size was over Siberia in 1908. The blast energy of DA14 (with a mass of 130,000 tons) is estimated at 2.4 megatons of TNT. That’s enough to wipe out a city.
· Seeing DA14 on its close approach will take dark skies and binoculars or a small telescope. Closest approach is over the Indian Ocean and Indonesia. (see http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov )
· We know there are 500,000 to 1 million asteroids the size of DA14 or larger. So far we have found fewer than 1% of that “cosmic hailstorm” through which we sail in our yearly orbit around the Sun.
· Another impact like the one in 1908 (Tunguska) could happen tomorrow – we can’t predict such an event because our telescopes have a hard time seeing such small asteroids.
· We can prevent these potential disasters: find most of the hazardous asteroids, plan a typical deflection mission, and demonstrate how to nudge a small asteroid in a harmless demonstration.
· The Association of Space Explorers (professional society of astronauts and cosmonauts) recommended in 2008 that the world’s space agencies, working with the UN, together should:
o Conduct a thorough search for hazardous asteroids using new telescopes, sharing the results globally.
o Issue joint warnings for any predicted impacts – a good search will provide ample warning.
o Conduct a mission planning exercise to find the best methods of asteroid deflection.
o Form an international panel to recommend when and how we should attempt to divert an asteroid (and decide how we’ll pay for it)
o Mount an international deflection mission to practice moving a small, harmless asteroid.
· NASA has done most of the discovery work on finding hazardous asteroids and comets, but more can be done – especially search and tracking – by pooling resources and collaborating on mission planning.
· This week at the United Nations in Vienna (Thursday to Monday), most of the world’s space agencies will discuss how to put in place agreements on information sharing, impact warning, deflection mission planning and preparation, and possible cooperative demonstrations in space of how we can prevent an asteroid strike.
· The Association of Space Explorers encourages these productive discussions. The ASE report “Asteroid Threats” in 2008 proposed a framework for international action on impact prevention.