“NO MORE TUNGUSKAS”
Do you remember Tunguska? The largest asteroid to impact Earth in recent history. In 1908, this 40-meter asteroid impacted over Siberia, Russia, destroying more than 800 square miles of forest. The energy impact was equivalent to 500 times the force of the Hiroshima bomb. To make sure that there are “no more tunguskas,” the two largest global awareness movements have joined forces to educate and protect the public from potentially dangerous asteroids
Asteroid Day and NEOShield-2 announced today a new partnership for public awareness and outreach. Asteroid Day was launched in June 2015 spiraling to include 92 self-organized global events and millions of followers online. NEOShield-2 is the science and technology consortium begun in March 2015 as a follow on to the successful NEOShield-1 project, under the direction of Airbus Defense and Space. The work of NEOShield-2 emphasizes technology development on essential techniques and instruments needed for guidance, navigation and control (GNC) in the close vicinity of asteroids and comets.
Asteroids impact the Earth on a regular basis and even though the majority do not make it through the atmosphere, larger meteors are sometimes on a collision course with Earth with the potential to cause considerable loss of life and damage. Our goal is to prevent NEO collisions with Earth, by carrying on space research to set up detection and realistic and feasible deflection measures. Increasing awareness among the general public is a critical element to achieving that goal.
Several organisations and space agencies already work in this area, but what is better than joining our forces for the common good with a unified goal and greater efficiency? This new collaboration between NEOShield-2 and Asteroid Day will strengthen our actions and help us reaching a wider audience. We are all looking forward to working together on future projects.