A month behind this news, but this will be a very important design competition. The subject (transponder type missions) is the first step in any legitimate NEO mitigation process.
"Today at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union, The Planetary Society announced the launch of their Apophis Mission Design Competition, which invites participants to submit designs for a mission to rendezvous with and “tag” a potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid. Tagging may be necessary to track an asteroid accurately enough to determine whether it will impact Earth, and thus help facilitate the decision whether to mount a deflection mission to alter its orbit. The Planetary Society is offering $50,000 in prize money for the competition."
Link: Press Release (13 December 2006)
Link: Apophis Mission Design Competition Rules
This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.
21 January 2007
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