First NEOSHIELD meeting to prepare the first report to CE

Organisateur :

Date prévue : 31 May - 1 June 2012
Date définitive : 2012-05-31


Alan W. Harris (Institut of Planetology DLR, Berlin, Germany),

Daniel Hestroffer (IMCCE)

Near-Earth objects (NEOs) currently present a scientifically well-founded threat to the future of our civilization. While past impacts have probably altered the evolutionary course of life on Earth, and paved the way for the dominance of mankind, there is no reason why asteroids and comets should not continue to hit the Earth at irregular and unpredictable intervals in the future. We would now rather not remain at the mercy of this natural process. Thousands of NEOs have been discovered over the past 20 years. However, there is no concerted international plan on how to deal with the impact threat and how to organize, prepare and implement mitigation measures.

The NEOSHIELD project, which has been financed in the framework of the 7 PCRD by the EC Direction of Industry and Space, address the problem with an international team consisting of established European scientists and space industry, complemented by experts from US and Russian space organizations.

The project goal is to help prevent a potential natural disaster of a magnitude far exceeding any that civilization has yet been confronted with.

A number of potential mitigation techniques have been discussed in recent publications. NEOSHIELD project will investigate in detail the three most promising techniques: the kinetic impactor, blast deflection, and the gravity tractor. Options for future implementation demo missions will be analyzed and proposed to the national and international Institutions concerned with.