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Clark R. Chapman Southwest Research Institute Boulder, Colorado, USA Clark R. Chapman Southwest Research Institute Boulder, Colorado, USA 1 st Workshop.

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Presentation on theme: "Clark R. Chapman Southwest Research Institute Boulder, Colorado, USA Clark R. Chapman Southwest Research Institute Boulder, Colorado, USA 1 st Workshop."— Presentation transcript:

1 Clark R. Chapman Southwest Research Institute Boulder, Colorado, USA Clark R. Chapman Southwest Research Institute Boulder, Colorado, USA 1 st Workshop on Binaries in the Solar System Steamboat Springs, CO USA, 21 August st Workshop on Binaries in the Solar System Steamboat Springs, CO USA, 21 August 2007 Update on NASA Policy Regarding the Asteroid Impact Hazard

2 Why I’m Giving this Briefing Bill Merline asked me about half-a- dozen times to give this briefing I said, “it has nothing to do with binaries,” so I said “no” everytime, that I would think of something more relevant to talk about (which is why I’m talking about doublet craters on Thursday) Bill accepted my doublet talk and put this briefing on the schedule…

3 Comets and Asteroids 433 Eros Comet McNaught Cometas y asteroides

4 Possibilities that You Will Die from Selected Causes Cause of Death Chance, Posibilidad: 1 in Causa de la muerte Motor vehicle accident 90 Accidente del automóvil Suicide 120 Suicidio Homicide 185 Homicidio Falls 250 El caer abajo Terrorism (Middle East) 1,000 Terrorismo (Medio Oriente) Fire or smoke 1,100 Fuego o humo Electrocution 5,000 Electrocution Drowning 9,000 Ahogándose (natación, bañera) Flood 27,000 Inundación Airplane crash 30,000 Desastre del aeroplano Lightning strike 43,000 Huelga de relámpago Asteroid impact (global) 75,000 Impacto Asteroid (global) Terrorism (non Mid-East) 80,000 Terrorismo (no Medio Oriente) Insect bite or sting 100,000 Insecto venenoso Natural tsunami 100,000 Tsunami natural Earthquake 130,000 Terremoto Asteroid impact (regional) 1,600,000 Impacto Asteroid (regional) Food poisoning (botulism) 3,000,000 Veneno del alimento (botulismo) Asteroid impact (local) 5,700,000 Asteroid impact (local) Shark attack 8,000,000 Ataque del tiburón Las posibilidades que morirás de seleccionado causan 9/

5 The Spaceguard Survey…Now and Prospective Spaceguard Survey: 1998 to 2008, find 90% of NEAs >1 km diameter (75% complete as of 2007) Encuesta "Spaceguard": 1998 a 2008, hallazgo el 90% del diámetro de NEAs >1 km (el 75% completo 2007) Congress ordered NASA to find 90% of NEAs >140 m by 2020 El congreso ordenó a NASA encontrar el 90% de NEAs >140 m antes de 2020 La encuesta "Spaceguard." Ahora y anticipado. Kitt Peak Natl. Observatory LINEAR, New Mexico LSST

6 Deflect an Asteroid so it Misses the Earth Most threatening NEAs are small and one can be deflected either by a “Gravity Tractor” or by striking it like the “Don Quijote” mission of ESA will demonstrate. La mayoría del NEAs amenazador es pequeño y uno de ellos se puede mover a un lado por (1) “tractor gravedad” o (2) chocando con él, como la misión de “Don Quijote” de “ESA” puede demostrar. If an NEA is very big or there is short warning time, only a neutron bomb would work Si un NEA es muy grande o hay tiempo amonestador corto, sólo una bomba atómica sería capaz Desviar un asteroide así que no choca con la tierra ESA Don Quijote Space Tug Gravity Tractor / Tractor de la gravedad

7 Mitigation by Civil Defense If the NEA strikes without warning, or if deflection seems uncertain or fails Si el NEA golpea sin la advertencia, o si la desviación se parece incierta o falla Warn, evacuate, store food supplies, plan for a large medical emergency, response and recovery operations… Advertir, evacuar, los suministros de alimentos del almacén, plan para las operaciones de una emergencia médica grande, de la respuesta y de la recuperación… Mitigación por la defensa civil

8 U.S. NEO Policy : “Spaceguard 2”? Some influential members of the US Congress crafted legislation in 2005 requiring NASA to search for threatening NEOs >140 m diameter and to address the impact hazard (Space Act of 1958 changed, signed into law by President Bush) It mandates that NASA discover 90% of PHOs >140 m diameter within 15 years It mandated that NASA study searches, characterization, and mitigation of NEOs and report to Congress by 31 Dec It required NASA to propose a recommended search program with an associated budget NASA embarked on the required study in spring 2006, held a closed meeting in Vail, Colorado, in June, and worked until about December on a lengthy report, which was never submitted to Congress. In March 2007, NASA distributed copies of the 272-pg report to official members of its study (but not to most who participated in the Vail meeting), then sent to Congress a brief 27-pg report based on the longer report. NASA refused to release the longer report on which the short report was based until it was officially requested by the Federation of American Scientists under the FOIA.

9 Status in March 2007: NASA Rebuffs Congress, Censors Report Dec. 2005: Bush signs amendment to Space Act, requiring NASA to report to Congress by Dec on how it will search for NEAs >140 m diameter. Lengthy report is censored by NASA Administrator (“internal pre- decisional materials”) NASA submits short report, defies the law by refusing to recommend program or budget, due to “current budget constraints” 27 pages 272 pages So much for NEO disaster planning!

10 Efforts of B612 Foundation (June 2007) NASA Admin. Griffin declares longer report “pre-decisional materials,” refuses to release it. B612 obtains a copy anyway and publishes critiques. Griffin offers to have us meet with his people and writes, “If the report is wrong, we will correct it, certainly.” June 18, NASA Hq.: Chapman, Schweickart, others meet with about a dozen NASA people, including report leader, Bill Claybaugh. Claybaugh et al. admit that issues raised by us are valid (except concerning uses of nuclear devices, which are “secret”), but declares that none of them are “mistakes” Chapman invited to submit mark-up of 27-pg. report; submitted in early July, but NASA has not responded. Possibilities for Congressional hearings later this year were called for by Rep. Rohrabacher, but they remain on the table.

11 NASA’s Erroneous Recommendations NASA concludes that “Spaceguard 2” would cost a billion dollars, could not be completed by 2020 without an even more expensive near-Venus observatory. NOT TRUE: Pan-STARRS and LSST estimate that they could conduct the required survey within 15 years of starting it for ~$150 million. Report concludes that nuclear devices are “most effective” for diverting all threatening NEOs. NOT TRUE: Ignores fragility of NEOs, great uncertainties in response of real, uncertain materials to shock of stand-off nuclear blast. Nukes required for rare cases. Report evaluates a totally unrealistic set of cases, all involving NEOs >200 m in size, despite the fact that >95% of dangerous NEOs found by Spaceguard 2 will be <200 m across. NASA ignores keyholes, claiming that its expert on keyholes (Don Yeomans) did not understand Schweickart’s presentation at Vail until this past spring, so it was not a “mistake” to have ignored keyholes. There were numerous presentations at Vail about keyholes. NASA mistakenly concludes that slow-push deflection options are most expensive, least developed; NOT TRUE for gravity tractor.

12 Current Issues Is NASA prepared to deal with NEOs? Once again, I think NOT, unless the Congress keeps pushing. Will Congress deal with it? Maybe, but it would really help if people kept contacting their Congressional staffers, Senators, etc. It is not a partisan issue. Will Congress demand NASA/NSF to act responsibly towards maintaining, and enhancing, our national capabilities to study NEOs? Arecibo, Goldstone Groundbased characterization Considering the NEO hazard in context of reducing other natural/manmade risks Ensuring that NASA carries out its obligations under the 2005 Space Act amendment Some comments by Dan Durda, Al Harris?


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