Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. 24/7 Space News .




IRON AND ICE
Getting ready for asteroids
by Staff Writers
Paris (ESA) Feb 04, 2014


Control room at ESA's Optical Ground Station (OGS), Tenerife, Spain. Image courtesy ESA.

With a mandate from the UN, ESA and other space agencies from around the world are about to establish a high-level group to help coordinate global response should a threatening asteroid ever be found heading towards Earth.

For the first time, national space agencies from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa will establish an expert group aimed at getting the world's space-faring nations on the 'same page' when it comes to reacting to asteroid threats.

Its task is to coordinate expertise and capabilities for missions aimed at countering asteroids that might one day strike Earth.

Of the more than 600 000 known asteroids in our Solar System, more than 10 000 are classified as near-Earth objects, or NEOs, because their orbits bring them relatively close to our path.

Dramatic proof that any of these can strike Earth came on 15 February 2013, when an unknown object thought to be 17-20 m in diameter arrived at 66 000 km/h and exploded high above Chelyabinsk, Russia, with 20-30 times the energy of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

The resulting shock wave caused widespread damage and injuries, making it the largest known natural object to have entered the atmosphere since the 1908 Tunguska event, which destroyed a remote forest area of Siberia.

Coordinating global efforts
The Space Mission Planning and Advisory Group (SMPAG - pronounced 'same page') was established by Action Team 14, a technical forum with a mandate from the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) to develop a strategy on how to react on a possible asteroid impact threat.

It will coordinate the technological knowhow of agencies to recommend specific efforts related to asteroid threats, including basic research and development, impact mitigation measures and deflection missions.

"SMPAG will also develop and refine a set of reference missions that could be individually or cooperatively flown to intercept an asteroid," says Detlef Koschny, Head of the NEO Segment in ESA's Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme office.

"These include precursor missions or test and evaluation missions, which we need to fly to prove technology before a real threat arises."

The first-ever meeting will be hosted by ESA on 6-7 February at its operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

Thirty-plus representatives from 13 agencies, seven government ministries and the UN will share knowledge and the latest research related to impact case studies, and will develop a work plan for the next two years.

"As a first step, the group will study each agency's organisational and operational capabilities, specific technologies and scientific abilities, and propose options that make best use of who can do what, the best," says Detlef.

The group will work in close cooperation with another Action Team 14-mandated committee: the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN).

Each will study and recommend specific actions to deal with different aspects of the asteroid threat - IAWN to coordinate the global search for threatening NEOs, understand their effects in case of a collision, and interface with disaster preparation and civil response agencies; and SMPAG for the technology and space mission aspects.

Current threats, future scenarios
The critical first step is to spot potential threats in the sky with as much advance warning as possible.

"ESA is already doing a great deal to support the global effort to address the asteroid threat," says Nicolas Bobrinsky, ESA's SSA Programme Manager.

The Agency is now developing the capability to integrate Europe's current NEO tracking assets - as well as new technology such as automated, wide-field-of-view telescopes - into a coordinated and more efficient NEO system that can provide nightly sky surveys and advanced warnings.

Among other recent developments, starting in late 2013, ESA will make use of observing time at the European Southern Observatory in Chile to conduct quick and accurate confirmations of the most hazardous NEOs.

More about NEO activities at ESA

.


Related Links
Space Situational Awareness
Asteroid and Comet Mission News, Science and Technology






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





UAV Payloads 2014, 24 - 25 June - London, UK
IRON AND ICE
Riding a blue-green wake of xenon to Ceres
Pasadena CA (JPL) Feb 04, 2014
Dawn is continuing its trek through the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Leaving behind a blue-green wake of xenon from its ion propulsion system, its sights are set on dwarf planet Ceres ahead. The journey has been long, but the veteran space traveler (and its support team on distant Earth) is making good progress for its rendezvous early next year. The final part of Dawn's ap ... read more


IRON AND ICE
NASA's LRO Snaps a Picture of NASA's LADEE Spacecraft

Sole camera from NASA moon missions to be auctioned

New results on the geologic characteristics of the Chang'e-3 exploration region

China's moon rover experiences abnormality

IRON AND ICE
Work on Mystery Rock Continues As Rover Marks 10

NASA Mars Rover's View of Possible Westward Route

ExoMars orbiter core module completed

The Curiosity Mars rover vehicle has damaged a wheel

IRON AND ICE
Future interplanetary spacecraft to be equipped with 'plantations'

New scientific field looks at the big picture

Russian Space Farmers Harvest Wheat, Peas and Greens

FAA Grants Waypoint 2 Space Safety Approval Of Training Programs

IRON AND ICE
Waiting for Yutu

Moon plays trick on Jade Rabbit

'Goodnight, humans': Says Yutu As The Sun Sets

Extra Time for Tiangong

IRON AND ICE
NASA Extends Reliance on Russian Spacecraft Until 2018

NASA Selects Physical Science Research Proposals for the ISS

Russian Cargo Craft Departure Clears Way for Next Delivery

British firm says its space station cameras to provide Web images

IRON AND ICE
Both payloads for Arianespace's next Ariane 5 flight are mated to the launcher

45th Space Wing Supports NASA Launch

Athena-Fidus receives its "kick" for Arianespace's upcoming Ariane 5 launch

ILS Proton To Launch Yamal 601

IRON AND ICE
First Weather Map of Brown Dwarf

NASA-Sponsored 'Disk Detective' Lets Public Search for New Planetary Nurseries

Astronomers create first map of weather on nearby brown dwarf star

ALMA Discovers a Formation Site of a Giant Planetary System

IRON AND ICE
New NASA Laser Technology Reveals How Ice Measures Up

Chameleon of the sea reveals its secrets

Quicker method paves the way for atomic-level design

Microwires as mobile phone sensors




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement