Protecting Earth from asteroids

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MeteorWayne

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scottb50":2c1q75ts said:
Best bet would be to hit it head on or at whatever is the best angle with everything you have. If each nuke slows it enough you could escape being in the wrong place at the right time. All I meant was Comets and asteroids are different but basically the same thing, a fast body flying your way. A lot of asteroids may even have been Comets, or the remnants of them. No-one ever said a Comet had to be a certain size either, just solid and heavy.
scottb50, it is clear you need to do some actual research on the real physics involved before you make suggestions. You really dont understand the problems involved. Certainly comets can be any size, from a few meters (invisible and not a threat) to probably 100 km in diameter. Do you understand what we could do to affect the path of even a 20 km diameter comet (such as Hale Bopp) approaching at up to 72 km/sec? The answer is NOTHING! We could hit it with every nuke on the planet (never mind the logistical problem of how to get them all out to the orbit of Mars so there would be time to change the path) and the effect would me immeasurably small.

Comets can take 100,000 or more years to orbit the Sun, in 5000 years or so, we have recorded quite a few and the dispersal seems to be show they could come from anywhere at any time. maybe in 95,000 years we can say we have found and charted most of them.
Again, a reality check:

"The outer Oort cloud is believed to contain several trillion individual objects larger than approximately 1 km (with many billions with absolute magnitudes brighter than 11 - corresponding to ~20 km diameter), with neighboring objects typically tens of millions of kilometres apart"

We have detected NO objects in the outer Oort cloud.

We only detect comets when they enter the inner solar system and begin sublimating their ices, generally inside the orbit of Mars, though with larger, first time visitors sometimes the orbit of Jupiter.

It is 50,000-100,000 AU, the orbital period is 10 to 30 million years. We will NEVER have a complete inventory of the Oort cloud. It's completely unrealistic. With an orbit of 10 million years, that means the change in position is 13 arc seconds per century. Even assuming we could detect a dark 20 km sized object at 1-2 light years distance.


An asteroid might be good for an annual display, blow it up at the right time and every year you pass through it's remains.
Again, this has been shown to be a really bad idea, even if it was possible. First, shattering a 270 meter asteroid (such as Apophis) isnt feasible. And even if you do, instead of one object of 3x10^10 kg with an orbit you know, you create 10 of 3x 10^9 kg with orbits you can't predict, any of which could destroy half a continent? That makes sense to you? hattering an asteroid is NOT a good idea, even if it was possible.

You really need to do some research before spouting off ideas that have not been thought through
 
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HopDavid

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scottb50":f3wsr5cy said:
All I meant was Comets and asteroids are different but basically the same thing, a fast body flying your way.
The chief difference is advance notice. If it's an inner system asteroid, we'll probably know of the impact decades or maybe centuries in advance.

A tiny nudge can result in a larger difference down the road.

For example, take an asteroid with a 1 year period. Use an impact to shrink it's semi major axis by .007% and it's period becomes .9999 years. After such a nudge, each year will advance it's position .04 degrees. After 50 years, it will be 2 degrees ahead of where it would've been without a nudge.

But a comet falling in from the Oort wouldn't be visible until just a few years before impact.

Another difference between a comet from the outer system and a plain vanilla NEO is speed and inclination. Most NEOs are more or less in the ecliptic plane in prograde orbits, traveling between 20 to 40 km/sec wrt the sun.

Being on a nearly parabolic orbit, a comet will be traveling nearly solar escape velocity which is about 42 km/sec in our neighborhood. Earth is moving about 30 km/sec. If the comet hits us head on, The hyperbolic Vinfinity would be 72 km/sec impact, if it rear ends us, merely 12 km/sec.

Coming from the Oort, it could have any inclination. The 72 is as likely as the 12, I'd guess.
 
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SteveCNC

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I have to agree with everyone else msnbc is not a good source of information . They claim that Apollo did nothing for mankind but that simply isn't true at all there were lots of things that came from that era that we use today and have added to our knowledge and abilities in space . We certainly wouldn't be as advanced as we are now if it hadn't been for that program .

While I personally believe we will eventually need to develope a means of landing on asteroids I'm not as sure that it should be the next thing we go after . We have a difference in opinion in what is more practical to do next maybe but in the end we all want the same thing . I think it is crucial to build a base on the moon and develope LEO for commercial use . Orbit a space station around the moon and develope a tether and lander system . After that go after asteroids and Mars . That's my opinion on the most ecconomically sound way to go not only on money but for incremental development that makes more sense .

I guess it depends on how paranoid people are of being hit by a planet killer as to how much we are willing to throw at a project of that sort . Perhaps if the government propaganda machine can start back up in full force like back in the 50s and 60s we might have a chance but IMO the ethics is bad karma . I didn't like being a victim of that machine but I was lucky and only caught the tail end of it since it seemed like it slowed way down when I was about 12 in 1969 .
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
HopDavid":jhvicry8 said:
scottb50":jhvicry8 said:
All I meant was Comets and asteroids are different but basically the same thing, a fast body flying your way.
The chief difference is advance notice. If it's an inner system asteroid, we'll probably know of the impact decades or maybe centuries in advance.

A tiny nudge can result in a larger difference down the road.

For example, take an asteroid with a 1 year period. Use an impact to shrink it's semi major axis by .007% and it's period becomes .9999 years. After such a nudge, each year will advance it's position .04 degrees. After 50 years, it will be 2 degrees ahead of where it would've been without a nudge.
Correct, that's a huge difference.

But a comet falling in from the Oort wouldn't be visible until just a few years before impact.
More like a few months... Hale Bopp was discovered 7.2 AU from the sun, far and away the greatest distance ever for a discovery. It was 21 months from discovery to perihelion. The more typical discovery at < 5.2 AU would allow a year at best for a highly eccentric orbit.

Another difference between a comet from the outer system and a plain vanilla NEO is speed and inclination. Most NEOs are more or less in the ecliptic plane in prograde orbits, traveling between 20 to 40 km/sec wrt the sun.

Being on a nearly parabolic orbit, a comet will be traveling nearly solar escape velocity which is about 42 km/sec in our neighborhood. Earth is moving about 30 km/sec. If the comet hits us head on, The hyperbolic Vinfinity would be 72 km/sec impact, if it rear ends us, merely 12 km/sec.

Coming from the Oort, it could have any inclination. The 72 is as likely as the 12, I'd guess.
Yep, that's right.
 
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HopDavid

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SteveCNC":13zk4hng said:
We have a difference in opinion in what is more practical to do next maybe but in the end we all want the same thing . I think it is crucial to build a base on the moon and develope LEO for commercial use . Orbit a space station around the moon and develope a tether and lander system . After that go after asteroids and Mars . That's my opinion on the most ecconomically sound way to go not only on money but for incremental development that makes more sense .
I agree with you here. There are a number of reasons why lunar polar ice is the most accessible propellent that's not deep in earth's gravity well.

Lunar propellent at LEO and EML1 would make travel to NEOs and other bodies much more doable.

As I've mentioned a few times, I'm an asteroid guy. I like J.S. Lewis more than planetary chauvinists like Zubrin.

However, I see infrastructure at EML1 as a golden spike that would enable affordable transportation to asteroids.

Affordable transportation would increase our powers to protect ourselves as well as exploit asteroid resources.
 
V

Valcan

Guest
HopDavid":33wtd2b3 said:
SteveCNC":33wtd2b3 said:
We have a difference in opinion in what is more practical to do next maybe but in the end we all want the same thing . I think it is crucial to build a base on the moon and develope LEO for commercial use . Orbit a space station around the moon and develope a tether and lander system . After that go after asteroids and Mars . That's my opinion on the most ecconomically sound way to go not only on money but for incremental development that makes more sense .
I agree with you here. There are a number of reasons why lunar polar ice is the most accessible propellent that's not deep in earth's gravity well.

Lunar propellent at LEO and EML1 would make travel to NEOs and other bodies much more doable.

As I've mentioned a few times, I'm an asteroid guy. I like J.S. Lewis more than planetary chauvinists like Zubrin.

However, I see infrastructure at EML1 as a golden spike that would enable affordable transportation to asteroids.

Affordable transportation would increase our powers to protect ourselves as well as exploit asteroid resources.
I have to agree in many ways. To me the first manned colonies shouldnt be on mars so much as the NEO nearby.

Remember for a colony to be sustainable it needs to OFFER something. Colonizing a NEO could be done faster, safer, and for less than a trip to mars. These colonies could trade materials with earth and help secure a foot hold in space.

The moon simply doesnt have enough gravity to be a true home for humans. Space station and by stations i mean eventually HUGE colonies can have artifical gravity from spin. The first steps in colonizing the outer systems is LEO THEN space stations in earth orbit.

Then theres also the fact that its easier and cheaper to boost out of the gravity well of a NEO than Mars or even the moon.
 
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SteveCNC

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EarthlingX":1zeea3rp said:
Collection of ideas how to do it, to see what and if we missed something :

news.discovery.com : Top 10 Ways to Stop an Asteroid
I wonder if the government is being truthful about Apophis not coming that close in 2029 or the chances of hitting the keyhole for a 2036 impact are higher than we are being told and that's why the sudden drive to land on an asteroid . If we only begin development of such an objective in 2029 it won't be feasible in 7 years from then so starting now is pretty much our only chance .

As for the 10 ways ,

The paint is interesting and couple that with the mirrors and maybe you have something although some of the 10 ways seem like they don't believe the asteroids have much if any spin/tumble , which is what I think would make it hard to land on such an object and be able to lift off again . Perhaps if we have a Extravehicular Mobility Unit that is fed by an umbilical the paint one could be done even if there is some spin/tumble just keep the vehicle outside the asteroids influence . I guess in space you can spray paint from long range and it will still hit it so you wouldn't really have to actually land on it to accomplish the paint goal . But mounting rockets to the surface would be difficult and if it isn't spinning already it will be once you fire the rockets .

I like number 2 the small impact idea best for an object like Apophis course you have to hit it years in advance for it to work . Just put a railgun in space to fire soft but heavy slugs at it to nudge it enough to make it a non threat . I'm not sure of the energy/mass/vector it would take to actually nudge something like that but I am sure it could be calculated by someone far more into it than myself . The beauty of the railgun is you can keep feeding it ammo/fuel and fire as many times as needed to do what you want , of course you will have to keep putting as much energy into thrust as you put into fireing the railgun but that dosen't make it impossible .
 
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ZiraldoAerospace

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Why do people always bring up nukes, yet it seems that no one ever mentions detonating the nuke a little ways away from the object instead of on it. If you calculated it right, it wouldn't blow the comet or asteroid up, it would however, nudge it I believe, in a more powerful way than a weight's gravity would. This could be done as many times as needed until the course is altered sufficiently. Also, would it be possible to land a nuclear reactor on it and start melting/vaporizing some of the rock or ice or whatever it is made out of? This could potentially change its mass right? Or cause it to rotate differently from uneven heating? Or something? I am just throwing a couple of ideas out there. Truly though, we need to do pretty much every idea if we want a good chance of succeeding. We are going to have to paint it, have a gravity tug, and all of those other ideas, all at once, or there won't be a very good chance that we will have enough time to send a second mission after the first idea fails. Remember all the things that BP tried to plug up that oil well?
 
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SteveCNC

Guest
you know I'm not that sure a nuke would do all that much from range , on earth it has the atmosphere to carry the shock wave which makes it more devastating than the heat blast at ground zero . granted at close range the heat would ablate material , maybe even a lot but the results would be I believe somewhat unpredictable .
 
M

MeteorWayne

Guest
SteveCNC":nmwbevgq said:
EarthlingX":nmwbevgq said:
Collection of ideas how to do it, to see what and if we missed something :

news.discovery.com : Top 10 Ways to Stop an Asteroid
I wonder if the government is being truthful about Apophis not coming that close in 2029 or the chances of hitting the keyhole for a 2036 impact are higher than we are being told and that's why the sudden drive to land on an asteroid . If we only begin development of such an objective in 2029 it won't be feasible in 7 years from then so starting now is pretty much our only chance .
It's not the gummint making the predictions, it is astronomers. From both JPL and NEODyS. Any person can also take the raw observations and run the orbit programs. The observations are reported by the MPC, NOT a government agency.
 
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MeteorWayne

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All are viable ideas. ANd BTW, if you reread the nuke option, it is to vaporize part of the surface with the radiation, not rely on the shock wave.

In any case, the effectiveness of any of the methods depends on knowing the orbit, mass, composition and structure of ithe asteroid, which is where our priority is now, and should be.

Sending multple nukes? Haha, we have no means to deliver such payloads :)

First, lets catalog the threat...nothing is an imminent danger, not even Apophis.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
http://www.space.com/news/earth-asteroi ... 00719.html

Lawmakers are paying new attention to how best to shield Earth from a bad day — getting whacked by an asteroid or comet that has our planet in its cross-hairs.

A new bill introduced to Congress proposes establishing a government-sponsored commission to study the threat of a major space rock collision with Earth and how prepared we are — as a country and a planet — to face such a danger.

............

As outlined in the bill, the purposes of the commission would be to:

Determine capabilities of United States Government entities, nongovernment organizations, foreign governments and entities, and international bodies to detect, characterize, and neutralize potentially dangerous Near Earth Objects;
Identify and evaluate roles and responsibilities of United States Government entities to detect, characterize, and neutralize potentially dangerous NEOs;
Determine United States effectiveness in leading international efforts to detect, characterize, and neutralize potentially dangerous NEOs;
Build upon United States Government and foreign analyses, studies, and assessments, without duplicating efforts, to determine current and required NEO characterization and mitigation capabilities;
Identify and report on technology development required to provide effective planetary defense from dangerous NEOs; and
Investigate and report to the President and Congress on its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures that can be taken to provide planetary defense.
One function of the proposed seven-member commission is to assess the current ability of United States and foreign technology to defend our planet. Technologies that could aid the fight against a NEO threat include modeling and simulation capabilities, as well as nuclear devices, high order explosive systems, and laser systems.

The bill also requests a budget "not to exceed" $2 million for the commission.

Unexpected impact

Rohrabacher's initiative joins a rising tide of interest in NEOs.

For example, earlier this year, the prestigious National Research Council issued a report on Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies. This study was carried out at the joint request of NASA and the U.S. Congress.

The White House is engaged in identifying an agency to be responsible for NEO threat mitigation.

Similarly, the NASA Advisory Council Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense is also deliberating on next steps
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
http://www.nasa.gov : Exploration of Near Earth Objects (NEO) Objectives Workshop [Explore NOW] August 10-11, 2010 Washington, DC
NASA is hosting an interactive, two-day workshop to identify objectives for exploration missions to Near Earth Objects (NEOs). The meeting will be conducted August 10-11 at The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The primary goals for the workshop are to increase the collective understanding of NEOs, communicate NASA’s plans for a human mission to a NEO, and capture external input on proposed mission objectives.

Explore NOW will bring together experts and key leaders within NASA, industry, academia, other government agencies, and international communities.

Download workshop presentations:

Presentations will be made available on this website for download, before the start of the workshop.

Watch the workshop live online:

Although participation in the workshop is limited, NASA will offer a live webcast of the plenary sessions and panel sessions, to provide maximum insight and public engagement. Visit this page on the days of the workshop for links to the webcast.
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Thanx, we'll have to remember to Bump this on the 9th...
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
SDC : Forget Big Asteroids: It's the Smaller Rocks That Sneak In and Blow Up
By Leonard David
SPACE.com’s Space Insider Columnist
posted: 05 October 2010
08:08 am ET



Put aside the vision of Bruce Willis wrestling with huge space rocks threatening to doom Earth "Armageddon"-style. It turns out that people should be more worried about smaller space rocks that explode in our atmosphere.

While smaller than Earth-busting asteroids, these "airbursters" — like the space rock that exploded in 1908 high over Tunguska, Siberia — are more immediate threats, scientists say. They can cause localized destruction and may intrude in our airspace with little warning time.

When an airbursting asteroid, called a bolide, exploded over an island region of Indonesia late last year, it rocked the residents' world with an estimated energy release of about 50 kilotons, equal to some 110,000 pounds of TNT.

Such objects are expected to impact the Earth on average every two to 12 years.
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EarthlingX

Guest
www.universetoday.com : Is the World Ready for An Asteroid Threat? Apollo’s Schweickart Pushes for Action
Oct 14th, 2010

by Nancy Atkinson


Computer generated simulation of an asteroid strike on the Earth. Credit: Don Davis/AFP/Getty Images

If we discover an asteroid heading directly towards Earth, are we ready to deal with the challenges of either deflection strategies or an evacuation prior to impact? Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart has spent years championing the need for the human race to prepare for what will certainly happen one day: an asteroid threat to Earth. Schweickart is Chairman of the Board of the B612 Foundation, a non-profit private foundation that supports the development and testing of a spaceflight concept to protect the Earth from future asteroid impacts, and he says we have the technology today to deal with it, but nothing has been verified or tested. “We need to mobilize that technology and achieve an international consensus on what actions should be taken,” he told Universe Today.

Schweickart also co-chairs — with another former astronaut, Tom Jones — the Planetary Defense Task Force of the NASA Advisory Council. On October 6, 2010, the Task Force submitted a list of five recommendations to the Council to suggest how NASA should organize, investigate, prepare, and lead national and international efforts defending our planet from an asteroid impact.

Rusty Schweickart
“Our report and recommendations are a necessary, but not sufficient element of a sequence of actions which hopefully will lead to humanity being able to prevent future asteroid impacts with Earth,” Schweickart explained. “Assuming positive action by OSTP (Office of Science and Technology Policy) and the Congress, we’ll be well on our way to preventing future impact disasters.”

The report stresses that NASA should significantly improve the ability to discover and track potential NEO impactors to allow for early detection, develop effective impact mitigation techniques, and prepare an adequate response to the range of potential impact scenarios.

These recommendations have been approved by the Advisory Council, and the report was submitted to the NASA Administrator. Then, the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is supposed to make a decision by tomorrow – Friday, October 15, 2010 –to make assignments in the US government as to what the breakdown of work should be to protect the Earth from an asteroid impact.
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Artist concept of a space tug. Credit: NASA
The technology needed exists today, Schweickart said, “that is, we do not have to go into a big technology development program in order to deflect most asteroids that would pose a threat of impact. However, that technology has not been put together in a system design, and not been verified, tested or demonstrated that it could actually deflect an asteroid. So, we need to test everything – test the very sequence we would use for a deflection campaign.”

The best way to test it would be to have NASA, or perhaps a consortium of space agencies, carry out an actual mission to test the entire system.

“Not with an asteroid that threatens an impact,” said Schweickart, “but with an asteroid that is just minding its own business, and we’d have the opportunity to show we can change its orbit slightly in a controlled way.”
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“There’s no official design of a deflection mission because there is no responsibility to do it,” Schweickart said. “Right now, NASA’s assignment is only to find these asteroids. Period. That’s it.”
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“Congress’s favorite thing to do is to tell you to do something and not give you any money for it,” Schweickart said. “That is not very responsible and it doesn’t always work and it’s not the right way a government should operate, especially where public safety is at issue. Therefore it is important that the OSTP lead the way on this issue on October 15.”
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Y

Yuri_Armstrong

Guest
Can we get some more details on this space tug? Would it be manned or unmanned?
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
Wiki : Gravity tractor
A gravity tractor (GT) is a spacecraft that deflects another object in space, typically a potentially hazardous asteroid that might impact Earth, without physically contacting it, using only its gravitational field to transmit the required impulse.[1][2] The tractor spacecraft could either hover near the object being deflected or orbit near it. The concept has the advantage that essentially nothing need be known about the mechanical composition and structure of the asteroid in advance.
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There is also a bit in the article, and i recommend using Google from time to time.
 
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EarthlingX

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www.universetoday.com : How to Deflect an Asteroid with Today’s Technology
Oct 15th, 2010

by Nancy Atkinson

Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart is among an international group of people championing the need for the human race to prepare for what will certainly happen one day: an asteroid threat to Earth. In an article on Universe Today published yesterday, Schweickart said the technology is available today to send a mission to an asteroid in an attempt to move it, or change its orbit so that an asteroid that threatens to hit Earth will pass by harmlessly. What would such a mission entail?

In a phone interview, Schweickart described two types of “deflection campaigns” for a threatening asteroid: a kinetic impact would roughly “push” the asteroid into a different orbit, and a gravity tractor would “tug slowly” on the asteroid to precisely “trim” the resultant change course by using nothing more than the gravitational attraction between the two bodies. Together these two methods comprise a deflection campaign.
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N

neilsox

Guest
Did the wiki fail to mention that we don't have a clue how to produce gravity pulses? A billion ton tug produces almost no gravity due to it's mass. In this century, the space tug could land on the asteroid and fire rocket engines over about half of each rotation of the asteroid. A gravel pile asteroid would change shape as a result of the force applied to a small area of the surface and might disintegrate into several separate asteroids. A kinetic impact on the asteroid is even more likely to break the asteroid into separate parts. Except for asteroids that are small enough to mostly burn up in Earth's atmosphere, we probably can not change the asteroid direction by even one second of arc, which typically will not be enough to change a likely hit to a likely miss of Earth, until we can send a billion ton tug.
From a distance of perhaps 1000 kilometers a space tug could burn small depressions in the asteroid which would behave like jet engines. Possibly classified lasers are sufficiently advanced at present, but more likely further breakthroughs in laser technology are needed for the lasers. Neil
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
spacecoalition.com : Asteroid Threat to Earth: Office of Planetary Defense Backed
October 15, 2010

By Leonard David



How best to deal with an incoming Near Earth Object – or NEO for short — is getting increased attention in Washington, D.C.

It’s called planetary defense, an ability to fend off an asteroid on a trajectory that will strike Earth. That vision has moved from giggle factor to factual study by various organizations within the United States and abroad.

For example, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has been delving into organizational responsibility for a planetary defense office. Their view of the situation is forthcoming.

Meanwhile, a seven-person Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense of the NASA Advisory Council has completed their report.

The task force was chaired by former astronauts, Russell Schweickart and Thomas Jones. Other members of the special study squad were from academia, NASA, as well as a space research institute.

Report recommendations

In their final report, the task force proposes five recommendations:

* Organize for Effective Action on Planetary Defense

NASA should establish an organizational element to focus on the issues, activities and budget necessary for effective Planetary Defense planning; to acquire the required capabilities, to include development of identification and mitigation processes and technologies; and to prepare for leadership of the U.S. and international responses to the impact hazard.

* Acquire Essential Search, Track, and Warning Capabilities

NASA should significantly improve the nation’s discovery and tracking capabilities for early detection of potential NEO impactors, and for tracking them with the precision required for high confidence in potential impact assessments.

* Investigate the Nature of the Impact Threat

To guide development of effective impact mitigation techniques, NASA must acquire a better understanding of NEO characteristics by using existing and new science and exploration research capabilities, including ground-based observations, impact experiments, computer simulations, and in situ asteroid investigation.

* Prepare to Respond to Impact Threats

To prepare an adequate response to the range of potential impact scenarios, NASA should conduct a focused range of activities, from in-space testing of innovative NEO deflection technologies to providing assistance to those agencies responsible for civil defense and disaster response measures.

* Lead U.S. Planetary Defense Efforts in National and International Forums

NASA should provide leadership for the U.S. government to address Planetary Defense issues in interagency, public education, media, and international forums, including conduct of necessary impact research, informing the public of impact threats, working toward an internationally coordinated response, and understanding the societal effects of a potential NEO impact. 
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
SDC : Planetary Defense Coordination Office Proposed to Fight Asteroids
By Leonard David
SPACE.com's Space Insider Columnist
posted: 19 October 2010
01:58 pm ET

A new report calls on NASA to establish a Planetary Defense Coordination Office to lead national and international efforts in protecting Earth against impacts by asteroids and comets.

The final report of the Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense of the NASA Advisory Council was delivered to the Council this month, proposing five recommendations that suggest how the space agency should organize, acquire, investigate, prepare, and lead national and international efforts in planetary defense against near-Earth objects.

"This was a very important step in the process of the United States Government defining its role in protection of life from this occasional, but devastating natural hazard," former astronaut Russell Schweickart told SPACE.com. "Happily, in the instance of asteroid impacts, this is a natural disaster which can be prevented...only, however, if we properly prepare and work together with other nations around the world."

Schweickart, who served as co-chair of the task force, said the new report and its recommendations to NASA combined new information with previous studies from the past decade.
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EarthlingX

Guest
www.spaceref.com : Possible threat to Earth by asteroids among issues at UN debate on outer space
Source: United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs
Posted Thursday, October 21, 2010



A United Nations working group is currently looking into how the Organization should respond to possible threats to the planet from near-earth objects, such as asteroids, a senior official with the world body said today.

Mazlan Othman, the Director of the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), told reporters at UN Headquarters in New York that the working group - within the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space - is expected to come up with recommendations which would be presented to the General Assembly for Member States to make a decision on response to near-earth objects.

"We now have a working group that has a multi-year work plan in the Committee to discuss this, and this working group will come up with a draft on how the UN should deal with this situation," Ms. Othman, who is in New York to attend the Assembly's discussions on international cooperation on the peaceful uses of outer space.
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EarthlingX

Guest
SDC : U.S. Must Be Ready to Meet Asteroid Threat, White House Science Adviser Says
By Jeremy Hsu
SPACE.com Senior Writer
posted: 21 October 2010
11:16 am ET



National emergency plans for natural disasters can also work in the unlikely scenario of an asteroid strike on the U.S., according to a letter to Congress by the White House's top science adviser, SPACE.com has learned.

The 10-page letter by John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, adds that the U.S. has a responsibility to the world as the country most capable of detecting space rocks that threaten Earth. The Oct. 15 letter obtained by SPACE.com is addressed to the leaders of the House Committee on Science and Technology.

Holdren states that NASA must continue leading efforts to close the gap in detecting and perhaps deflecting near-Earth objects (NEO). The U.S. space agency already has the duty of alerting the rest of the government about any threatening space objects.

Holdren's letter also laid out the duties of other federal agencies in handling emergency communications and response. It called for a "senior-level interagency simulation exercise" to test impact-response plans before the United States is confronted with an actual asteroid impact.

"My immediate reaction is that it represents the most detailed consideration of the U.S. government's response to the NEO threat to date, more clearly delineating communication links and responsibilities than had previously been the case," said Clark Chapman, space scientist at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo.
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