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.

15 March 2007

Questions on Recent NASA NEO AoA Study (Is there more to the report?)

Here are some questions I have sent to Lindley Johnson, head of the NASA NEO office, in regards information in the recent NASA Near Earth Object (NEO) Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) report that was delivered to Congress last week. I am waiting for a response.

1. The public report that was released seemed like an executive summary. At the 2007 PD conference last week, Don [Yeomans] has foretold that the publicly released study would be an executive summary. Last week's presentations revealed data/charts that were not in the publicly released report. Is this the complete report? If not, when will the information shown last week and potentially done for the study be released. I believe in the spirit of openness within this community it would helpful to have as a complete a picture of this study as possible. Also it would be helpful if along with the study any briefing charts could also be publicly released.

2. Does the reference (Shared PS4 and LSST) case cost (p. 19 of the study) of $469M to 2026 include the current $4.1M NEO program cost? Did the study assume that this money would not be reprogrammed to the PS4/LSST reference capability but continue (thus current "NEO" optical observatories would continue)?

3. Do the costs given for these options include the data management cost? How much of the $469M is data management and which option was chosen for the reference (Shared PS4 and LSST) case? What are the costs for the different data management options?

4. Is it possible to get a year by year breakout of the costs, specifically the $469M? It would be helpful in planning for the white paper if one could see what funding would be needed in the immediate 2-5 years if the reference case were to be implemented.

5. The performance of the different mitigation options was shown, but not the costs. Is it possible to provide this information?

6. Was there any more thought as to radar? Were there any costs assumed for keeping current radar capabilities going or for the new bistatic 100m radar shown in table 5 of the report?

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