Asteroid Institute Praises U.S. Government Plan for Asteroid Defense

Message From Ed Lu, Asteroid Institute Executive Director

In December 2016, the U.S. Government released its strategy document on preparing for and preventing asteroid impacts in which they outlined which government agencies would be involved in the planning for such an event, and the broad goals to be achieved. At the time, we commented that it was good news that the government was taking the issue of asteroid impacts seriously, but what would really matter is the concrete steps they actually take towards meeting their goals.

Yesterday, the U.S. Government released an implementation plan for carrying out the strategy laid out in 2016. The good news is the report recommends beginning preliminary mission designs towards eventually testing asteroid deflection technologies including both gravity tractors and kinetic impactors. Since our inception, we have recommended the testing of such technologies, ahead of when they might actually be used for real, and we wholeheartedly agree with these initial steps.

Also, we concur with the emphasis on finding and tracking asteroids as a necessary step. The Asteroid Institute, through its Asteroid Decision Analysis and Mapping (ADAM) project, is working on computational tools for interpreting and understanding the flood of new asteroids which will be discovered and tracked in the near future when telescopes like the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) come online in the next few years. The Asteroid Institute also agrees with the recommendation that these surveys should be extended down to asteroids as small as approximately 50 meters across. The Asteroid Institute is working on new technologies which could aid in their discovery and tracking.

Thank you for your support.

To our future,

Dr. Ed Lu
Executive Director
Asteroid Institute

Asteroid Institute, York Space Systems to Explore Low-Cost Space-Based Asteroid Tracking System

SILICON VALLEY, CA., May 10, 2018 (B612 Foundation PR)-– The Asteroid Institute, a program of the B612 Foundation, has announced a new collaboration with York Space Systems to explore a data-gathering constellation of satellites for a new asteroid tracking system. In addition, the Institute will join York’s innovative program with Metropolitan State University (MSU) of Denver, by engaging students to work on the project, providing both motivation and practical skills to train the next generation space industry workforce.

“We are tremendously impressed with York’s capabilities, facilities and engineering expertise to initiate this collaboration,” stated B612 President Danica Remy. “We are also highly supportive of their innovative enterprise business model, which integrates all segments of a space mission, from provision of the standardized bus through launch and mission operations. This allows an organization like the Asteroid Institute, to concentrate on developing special purpose instruments with partners and advanced data processing, while York takes responsibility for the spacecraft mission.”

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Asteroid Institute Announces Google Cloud, AGI as New Partners for ADAM Project

SILICON VALLEY, Calif., February 28, 2018 (B612 Foundation PR) — The Asteroid Institute today announced Google Cloud and AGI as new technology partners in the development of the Asteroid Decision Analysis and Mapping (ADAM) project. ADAM is being designed as a cloud-based platform to provide analytical tools to help scientists, world leaders, and citizens understand the unprecedented flood of asteroid discoveries expected within the coming decade.

The ADAM Cloud Platform will support transparent analysis of asteroid data with open and published algorithms. The fact that scientists worldwide will be able to build upon and extend the analytical tools will allow ADAM to act as a baseline for comparison and collaboration. ADAM will be used to assess threatening situations, identify and trade-off possible realistic courses of action and create actionable decision making data.

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