PROTECTING EARTH FROM ASTEROIDS AND COMETS
An AIAA Position Paper
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
The purpose of this Position Paper is to briefly review what is now known
about the threat to Earth posed by close approaching asteroids and comets
(called Near Earth Objects or NEOs).
Following are the principal AIAA recommendations:
1. Create an organization within the U.S. government responsible for
2. Extend the Spaceguard Survey, currently focused on finding and
cataloging 1-km-class objects and larger, to include finding and
cataloging 100-m-class NEOs and larger.
3. Develop and fund ground-based techniques as well as missions to several
asteroids to gather information that contributes to designing deflection
4. Conduct mission design studies to characterize requirements for short-,
medium-, and long-term missions.
5. Conduct flight tests to demonstrate the ability to change a NEO?s orbit.
6. Sponsor research to assess the political, social, legal and disaster
relief consequences of a serious NEO threat, mitigation effort, or
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