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.

06 February 2008

Planetary Society's Target Earth Initiative on NEO Threat (also update on results for their Apophis Mission Design Competition, now mid to late Feb.)

Asteroid impact on early Earth. Some scientists believe that impacts such as this during the Late Heavy Bombardment period, 4 billion years ago, may have delivered primitive life to Earth. Credit: Don Davis.

Selections from the news release...

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Tunguska event, when an exploding asteroid leveled 2000 square kilometers of Siberian forest, The Planetary Society today kicked off a year-long focus on Target Earth. The asteroid believed responsible for the cataclysm on June 30, 1908 became a fireball from the sky and knocked pine trees over like matchsticks near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Russia. Such an explosion today over more populated areas could lay waste an entire city.

Target Earth will focus on a variety of NEO projects supported by The Planetary Society, including the Apophis Mission Design Competition, the Gene Shoemaker Near Earth Object Grants, NEO mission advocacy, and a one-hour HD TV “Daily Planet” special on asteroids being produced by Discovery Canada.

In mid-to late February, the Society will announce the winners of the Apophis Mission Design Competition
, which invited participants to compete for $50,000 in prizes by designing a mission to rendezvous with and "tag" a potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroid. The competition received 37 mission proposals from 19 countries on 6 continents.

"Planetary Society Takes Aim at Target Earth"
Planetary Society News Release
29 January 2008

Link: Planetary Society News Release on "Target Earth": 29 January 2008

1 comment:

  1. You may be interested in the interview linked in this post:



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