09 January 2011

Final NASA PD Advisory Council Report

The Planetary Defense Blog reports the final report of the NASA Ad-hoc Planetary Defense Advisory Council is Released:
http://planetarydefense.blogspot.com/2011/01/nasa-advisory-council-exploration.html
http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/490945main_10-10_TFPD.pdf

Here are a few interesting excerpts:
NASA has discovered at least 87% of the large asteroids whose impacts could pose a global threat to our civilization

1.1. Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO). NASA should name an officer, responsible directly to the NASA Administrator, to coordinate the necessary expertise and internal resources to establish a credible capability to detect any NEO impact threat, as well as plan and test measures adequate to mitigate such a threat. The PDCO officer should have the authority to:
1) Plan and submit budget inputs for a distinct and comprehensive Planetary Defense Program of related research, development, and implementation projects and activities.
2) Disburse approved budgets to appropriate mission directorates and directly to selected projects for implementation of incremental PD activities and capabilities.
3) Coordinate and oversee all activities by mission directorates, centers, and agency projects for PD related capabilities.
4) Plan, coordinate, and implement agency interfaces with other U.S. government agencies and departments for PD-related activities, as well as lead agency interaction with other space agencies and international partners. The PDCO should represent NASA in all interagency and international venues when PD-related issues are discussed.
5) Plan, coordinate, and implement all PD-related public awareness activities and campaigns. Implement procedures to approve any agency public information release related to any NEO impact threat or agency activities to mitigate such a threat. (See Recommendation 5.)
The PDCO should be assigned a small staff to accomplish the duties above, and assisted by
personnel matrixed from the appropriate agency mission support offices.

The Task Force finds that
the Planetary Defense program plan is likely to require an annual budget of approximately $250 million to $300 million per year during the next decade to meet the mandated 140-meter search goal;
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The Planetary Defense Blog also has a nice update of books on the subject:

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