Planetary Defense and NEO Exploration

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2011 American Astronautical Society Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium--Tom Jones, Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition

2011 American Astronautical Society Robert H. Goddard Memorial Symposium--Tom Jones, Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition

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  • 1. 49th Goddard
    Memorial Symposium
    Thomas D. Jones, PhD
    Greenbelt, MD
    March 31, 2011
    Hayabusa Return
  • 2. Report
    of the
    NASA Advisory Council
    Ad Hoc Task Force on Planetary Defense
    October 6, 2010
  • 3. NAC Task Force on Planetary Defense
    Russell L. Schweickart
    Chairman, B612 Foundation
    (Task Force Co-Chair)
    Brian Wilcox
    Principal Member of Technical Staff
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    Donald K. Yeomans
    Manager, Near-Earth Object Program Office
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    Executive Secretary
    Bette Siegel
    Exploration Systems Mission Directorate
    Richard P. Binzel
    Professor of Planetary Science
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Clark R. Chapman
    Senior Scientist
    Southwest Research Institute
    Lindley N. Johnson
    Program Executive
    Near-Earth Object Observations Program
    Thomas D. Jones
    Visiting Senior Research Scientist
    Institute for Human and Machine Cognition
    (Task Force Co-Chair)
  • 4.
    • Search programs are rapidly increasing NEO discovery rate
    • 5. Many PHOs will have “worrisome probability of impact”
    • 6. Threshold for concern? Impact probability of 1/1000? 1/100? 1/50?
    • 7. Imperfect information at time deflection decision needed
    • 8. Deflection decision frequency considerably higher than actual impact frequency (20:1, 50:1, 100:1?)
    • 9. International leadership needed: Inevitable risk shifting as impact point point is moved to eliminate risk for all
  • 10.
    • NASA NEO activity is “3-D”: exploration, science, planetary defense (PD)
    • 11. Minor incremental cost to “other” space missions can yield large increase in PD knowledge
    • 12. Example: Science mission can demonstrate prox- ops algorithms for PD, human exploration
    • 13. Example: NEO’s interior structure, physical properties, and stability of surface materials
    (for human exploration) aids PD planning
    Synergies from Planetary Defense(1 of 2)
  • 14.
    • Time is a 4th dimension of NASA’s NEO research
    • 15. Early integration of PD results in faster maturity of technology
    • 16. Eliminates cost of duplicate flight missions
    • 17. Integrating PD into science and human exploration missions increases overall knowledge return
    • 18. Meets needs of managers, policy makers, scientists, public
    Version 12
    Synergies from Planetary Defense(2 of 2)
  • 19. Task Force Recommendations
    Organize for Effective Action on Planetary Defense
    Acquire Essential Search, Track, and Warning Capabilities
    Investigate the Nature of the Impact Threat
    Prepare to Respond to Impact Threats
    Lead U.S. Planetary Defense Efforts in National and International Forums
  • 20. 2.3 Short-term Warning:
    NASA should investigate development of low cost, short-term impact warning systems
    -- stats on small bodies, science cueing, public outreach
  • 21. Space-based NEO Search:
    Showing orbit geometry when Earth and the spacecraft are on approximately opposite sides of the sun. Earth-based telescopes will detect some NEOs that the space-based telescope will miss during the NEO perihelion passage. The resulting completeness will be better than with any single telescope.
    Ball Aerospace
  • 22. 10
  • 23. Amor
  • 24. 12
  • 25. NEO Search  Exploration
    Risk Reduction
    • NEO Search Will Fill in Operations “Flight Data File”
    • 26. EVA, tools, science, rendezvous, descent, etc.
    • 27. Reduces Operations, Crew, and Program Risk
    • 28. Known environment
    • 29. Can prepare operations skill set
    • 30. Verify mission is within crew capabilities
    • 31. More targets  reduced flight duration, mission ΔV
    • 32. Expanded program flexibility
    • 33. Ties human exploration directly to human survival
  • 34. Association
    Space Explorers
    Art by Dan Durda