Guests: Dr. Ray Williamson, Dr. Tim Spahr, Dr. Mark Boslough. Topics: NEO impacts and what's being done to deal with the threat. Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information. In addition, please remember that your Amazon purchases can help support The Space Show/OGLF. See onegiantleapfoundation.org/amazon.htm.
We welcomed our three panel members, Dr. Ray Williamson, Dr. Tim Spahr, and Dr. Mark Boslough to this 1 hour 31 minute Secure World Foundation sponsored webinar addressing NEO impacts and what's being done to deal with the threat. During our fist segment, we introduced our panel members and each provided us with opening comments about planetary defense and the risk and issues concerned with Near Earth Object (NEO) impacts here on Earth. Among the many issues discussed were funding priorities, diversion of funds, the recent Chelyabinsk NEO impact in Russia, and they type of damage that can be done by a NEO impact, even a small one. We also talked about our present day capabilities, what we can detect and the NASA NEO survey. One of the listener questions led to a discussion on the risk rewards for prioritizing not only budgetary expenses for NEO searches and mitigation, but also the theory behind the strategy of identifying larger NEOs first and why that is the preferred methodology. Our guests mentioned about 400,000 items had been surveyed and cataloged so far. Marshall emailed in a question about the best location for placing telescopes for NEO searches. I also asked about NEO airburst and if they were as predictable as understanding nuclear weapon airburst. The answer was no because we know so very little about NEO airbursts in contrast to what we know about nuclear weapons. The segment ended with a short summary of what was happening policy wise in the field with SWF & other international space & policy agencies.
In the second segment, we started off talking about mitigation strategies and potential tools/methods that might be used. We talked about the time line needed to mitigate a potential NEO impact and learned that if it was within a few years of possible impact, the strategies would likely focus on damage control, evacuation, and such here on Earth. We discussed more about NEO budgets and priorities, then I asked each of our guests to rate their level of satisfaction with the progress being made in the field. Each one provided his own satisfaction rating with his reasons for the rating. I'm sure you will find their comments most interesting. Near the end of our webinar, our panel members were asked for their thoughts on human spaceflight and the possible competition for scarce funds with the planetary science part of NASA and space as well as the planetary defense budget. While they all liked human spaceflight, you might be surprised by the answers each of our panel members provided us. Guest closing comments were excellent so don't miss them.
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