Final report from the Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense to the NASA Advisory Council presented on January 11, 2011 (Co-Chairs of Task Force: Dr. Tom Jones and Mr. Rusty Schweickart). This is essentially a summary of the report developed and finalized last year.
Conclusions from the report:
- NASA has strong foundation for understanding NEO hazard and building a long-term capability to counter NEO impact threat
- NASA has 2 of 3 elements to prevent future damaging impacts: (1) Search, track, warning and (2) deep space ops capability
- Actual technology demos being studied, part of future missions
- Missing 3rd element is international readiness; NASA should lead
- To do so requires NASA to develop practical means of altering NEO orbit
- W/O search/detection of smaller NEOs; orbit alteration; lead global deflection efforts, U.S. can only evacuate & respond post-impact
- NASA should begin now to forge its NEO capacities into global example of how to shield against future impact
Link: Briefing to Ad-Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense
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.
13 January 2011
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