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.

20 September 2009

Winner of 2009 Move An Asteroid: Sini Merikallio (Finland) with paper entitled "Moving an Asteroid with Electric Solar Wind Sail"

Sini Merikallio of Finland wins the Move An Asteroid 2009 International Student and Young Professional International Technical Paper Competition with her paper, "Moving an Asteroid with Electric Solar Wind Sail”.

From the announcement:

SGAC is proud to announce the 2009 Move an Asteroid Competition winner - Sini Merikallio from Finland. Her paper "Moving an Asteroid with Electric Solar Wind Sail" can be found here. The goal of this competition was to develop innovative and credible planetary defense solutions by describing in technical detail how to move an asteroid or comet that is at least 140 meters in diameter. The prize for the competition will cover lodging and registration for both SGC'09 and IAC'09 as well as a flight to South Korea.

Sini Merikallio is working towards Ph.D. in the Modelling group at the Finnish Meteorological Institute's Department of Climate Change. She is currently modelling the atmospheric light scattering from mineral dust particles. Sini earned her M.Sc. (Tech) in electro- and material physics at the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland in 2003. Upon hearing she won the competition, Sini wrote, "I am thoroughly excited and grateful of this opportunity to represent the Electric Solar Wind Sail usage in both IAC and SGC. It will be very interesting to see the response of the scientific community on the method proposed and to discover other contestants innovative approaches on the given problem of asteroid threat mitigation. As the SGC and IAC bring together both hard-boiled scientists, students and young professionals, the ideas will no doubt fly free and I am looking forward on enlightening discussions and constructive feedback on which to build my research further. On a more personal note, I have for some time now desired to experience South Korea because of its culture that is surprisingly said to be quite similar to the culture here in Finland. During my visit I would also hope for a change to tour the Samsung Guide Dog School as my dearest hobbies include all kinds of volunteer work with guide dogs.'

Link: Move An Asteroid 2009 Winner News Announcement

Link: Merikallio, Sini, "Moving an Asteroid with Electric Solar Wind Sail,” 2009. (PDF)

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