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.

27 April 2009

DoD TableTop Exercise on Planetary Defense Online

A new report from the U.S. DoD on a recent tabletop exercise looking at NEO scenarios is online. Here is the abstract

Natural Impact Hazard (Asteroid Strike) Interagency Deliberate Planning Exercise After Action Report. Directorate of Strategic Planning, Headquarters, United States Air Force. PDF 0.3 MB. 107 pages.

Abstract: Air Force Future Concepts and Transformation Division (AF/A8XC) hosted a Natural Impact Event Interagency Planning Exercise, 4 Dec 2008, in Alexandria, Virginia. Twenty Seven Subject Matter Experts from across US Government, including DOD, DOE, DOS, DHS, NASA, and NSC participated in a single day tabletop exercise to explore whole of government response to an impending asteroid strike. The specific scenario involved a mythical asteroid, 2008 Innoculatus. It was a binary asteroid consisting of a 270m rocky rubble pile projected to strike the Gulf of Guinea and a 50m metallic companion asteroid projected to strike in the National Capital Region (NCR). The scenario was selected to maximize exposure to the diversity of threat (variation in size, composition, land/water strike), stress both national and international notification, and provide useful pre-planning should an actual effort need to be mounted against the asteroid Apophis when it has a small probability to pass through a gravitational keyhole in 2029 and perhaps return to strike the Earth seven years later in 2036. Participants were broken into two teams. The first team focused on disaster response and was told the asteroid was discovered 72 hrs from impact. The second team focused on deflection/mitigation and was told the asteroid had been discovered seven years from impact, and to design a strawman deflection plan using existing capabilities. The major insights from this exercise are presented.

Link: Natural Impact Hazard (Asteroid Strike) Interagency Deliberate Planning Exercise After Action Report.

Link: NSS Planetary Defense Library

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