Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are asteroids and comets that pose local, regional, or continental impact threat. The realization that asteroid impacts are a modern-day possibility followed analyses proving that many of the craters on Earth were caused by cosmic impacts rather than by gradual geological process or volcanic eruptions. In the 1980s researchers discovered that the demise of the dinosaurs some 65 million years ago coincided with a major asteroid impact, and in 1994 observers recognized similar-sized impacts when fragments of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 smashed into Jupiter. If such an object were to hit Earth today, it could cause widespread devastation and profoundly affect life on Earth. Although major cosmic collisions with Earth are infrequent, their consequences could be severe. Hence, advanced planning is critical to mitigating future asteroid threats. And the best time to start preparing is now—well before any actual threat is detected. Given this reality: What are the current risks? How would we deflect or destroy an asteroid or comet on a collision course with Earth? What are the technical and political risks? What are the obligations and strategic interests that would drive a decision to act? This talk describes results from recent international planetary defense conferences and table-top exercises addressing these global questions through scientific studies and hypothetical scenarios. The talk also highlights evolving public and educational outreach, new simulation tools, recent space missions, and actions taken by the United Nations to support Planetary Defense. Presented by Dr. Nahum Melamed, The Aerospace Corporation.
Venue & Location
Virtual event, 6PM-9PM Central Time (7PM-10PM Eastern Time)
ASME Apollo Subsection - Houston, TX, USA
This event is being organized by volunteers of the ASME Apollo Subsection, ASME South Texas Gas Turbine Technical Chapter and ASME South Texas Section.
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