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Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso opens 6th IAA Planetary Defense Conference

on 03 May 2019

The President of the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA), Dr. Phys. Marius-Ioan Piso, gave opening remarks at the 6th Planetary Defense Conference, organised by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) in the Washington, DC area, between 29 April and 3 May 2019.

In his opening remarks on behalf of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), Marius-Ioan Piso highlighted the importance of this series of conferences. Recent dramatic changes in the perception of conflicts have promoted the notion of planetary defence against global threats such as space weather, climate change and asteroid collisions. Such notions made it high on the political agendas thanks also to this series of the IAA Planetary Defense Conference, declared Marius-Ioan Piso, a member of the board of trustees of the Academy.

The opening remarks included also a keynote talk by NASA Administrator, James Bridenstine.

The event brought together world experts to discuss what’s known about potentially hazardous asteroids and comets and how we might mount a defensive action in case one of these is found to be on a collision course with Earth. The conference, the 6th in a series of International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) conferences on planetary defense, reflects the increasing recognition of the potential threat these objects present to our planet as the list of threatening objects continues to increase.

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At the conference, groups addressed these issues and explored the decision-making process for a realistic, but fictional, hazardous asteroid as the threat evolves. The exercise used an asteroid impact threat scenario developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Conference participants were asked to consider the possible consequences of the impact, provide recommendations on feasible asteroid deflection methods, and compare various space missions that might be launched to deflect the object.

In addition to the exercise, experts presented the latest information on asteroid and comet discovery and characteristics, designs for missions to asteroids, techniques to move an asteroid, and impact consequences and disaster mitigation.

More information is available here.

Image credit: IAA