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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report NEAR-EARTH OBJECT SURVEYS AND HAZARD MITIGATION STRATEGIES Interim Report Committee to Review Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies Space Studies Board Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This study is based on work supported by the Contract NNH06CE15B between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the agency that provided support for the project. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-14361-5 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-14361-6 Cover: Cover design by Tim Warchocki. Images courtesy of NASA. Copies of this report are available free of charge from: Space Studies Board National Research Council 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055; (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.nationalacademies.org
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report Other Recent Reports of the Space Studies Board and the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs (Space Studies Board [SSB] with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board [ASEB], 2009) Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Assessment of Planetary Protection Requirements for Mars Sample Return Missions (SSB, 2009) Fostering Visions for the Future: A Review of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (ASEB, 2009) A Performance Assessment of NASA’s Heliophysics Program (SSB, 2009) Radioisotope Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space Exploration (SSB with ASEB, 2009) Assessing the Research and Development Plan for the Next Generation Air Transportation System: Summary of a Workshop (ASEB, 2008) A Constrained Space Exploration Technology Program: A Review of NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program (ASEB, 2008) Ensuring the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: Elements of a Strategy to Recover Measurement Capabilities Lost in Program Restructuring (SSB, 2008) Final Report of the Committee for the Review of Proposals to the 2008 Engineering Research and Commercialization Program of the Ohio Third Frontier Program (ASEB, 2008) Final Report of the Committee to Review Proposals to the 2008 Ohio Research Scholars Program of the State of Ohio (ASEB, 2008) Launching Science: Science Opportunities Provided by NASA’s Constellation System (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Managing Space Radiation Risk in the New Era of Space Exploration (ASEB, 2008) NASA Aeronautics Research: An Assessment (ASEB, 2008) Opening New Frontiers in Space: Choices for the Next New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity (SSB, 2008) Review of NASA’s Exploration Technology Development Program: An Interim Report (ASEB, 2008) Science Opportunities Enabled by NASA’s Constellation System: Interim Report (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Severe Space Weather Events—Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts: A Workshop Report (SSB, 2008) Space Science and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations: Summary of a Workshop (SSB, 2008) United States Civil Space Policy: Summary of a Workshop (SSB with ASEB, 2008) Wake Turbulence: An Obstacle to Increased Air Traffic Capacity (ASEB, 2008) Assessment of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (SSB, 2007) An Astrobiology Strategy for the Exploration of Mars (SSB with the Board on Life Sciences [BLS], 2007) Building a Better NASA Workforce: Meeting the Workforce Needs for the National Vision for Space Exploration (SSB with ASEB, 2007) Decadal Science Strategy Surveys: Report of a Workshop (SSB, 2007) Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond (SSB, 2007) Exploring Organic Environments in the Solar System (SSB with the Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, 2007) Grading NASA’s Solar System Exploration Program: A Midterm Review (SSB, 2007) The Limits of Organic Life in Planetary Systems (SSB with BLS, 2007) NASA’s Beyond Einstein Program: An Architecture for Implementation (SSB with the Board on Physics and Astronomy [BPA], 2007) Options to Ensure the Climate Record from the NPOESS and GOES-R Spacecraft: A Workshop Report (SSB, 2007) A Performance Assessment of NASA’s Astrophysics Program (SSB with BPA, 2007) Portals to the Universe: The NASA Astronomy Science Centers (SSB, 2007) The Scientific Context for Exploration of the Moon (SSB, 2007) Limited copies of SSB reports are available free of charge from Space Studies Board National Research Council The Keck Center of the National Academies 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20001 (202) firstname.lastname@example.org www.nationalacademies.org/ssb/ssb.html
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report COMMITTEE TO REVIEW NEAR-EARTH OBJECT SURVEYS AND HAZARD MITIGATION STRATEGIES IRWIN I. SHAPIRO, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Chair FAITH VILAS, MMT Observatory at Mt. Hopkins, Arizona, Vice Chair MICHAEL A’HEARN, University of Maryland, College Park, Vice Chair ANDREW F. CHENG, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory FRANK CULBERTSON, JR., Orbital Sciences Corporation DAVID C. JEWITT, University of California, Los Angeles STEPHEN MACKWELL, Lunar and Planetary Institute H. JAY MELOSH, University of Arizona JOSEPH H. ROTHENBERG, Universal Space Network SURVEY/DETECTION PANEL FAITH VILAS, MMT Observatory at Mt. Hopkins, Arizona, Chair PAUL ABELL, Planetary Science Institute ROBERT F. ARENTZ, Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corporation LANCE A.M. BENNER, Jet Propulsion Laboratory WILLIAM F. BOTTKE, Southwest Research Institute WILLIAM E. BURROWS, New York University ANDREW F. CHENG, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory ROBERT D. CULP, University of Colorado, Boulder YANGA FERNANDEZ, University of Central Florida LYNNE JONES, University of Washington STEPHEN MACKWELL, Lunar and Planetary Institute AMANDA MAINZER, Jet Propulsion Laboratory GORDON H. PETTENGILL, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (retired) JOHN RICE, University of California, Berkeley MITIGATION PANEL MICHAEL A’HEARN, University of Maryland, College Park, Chair MICHAEL J.S. BELTON, National Optical Astronomy Observatories MARK BOSLOUGH, Sandia National Laboratories CLARK R. CHAPMAN, Southwest Research Institute SIGRID CLOSE, Los Alamos National Laboratory JAMES A. DATOR, University of Hawaii, Manoa DAVID S.P. DEARBORN, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory KEITH A. HOLSAPPLE, University of Washington DAVID Y. KUSNIERKIEWICZ, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory PAULO LOZANO, Massachusetts Institute of Technology EDWARD D. McCULLOUGH, Boeing (retired) H. JAY MELOSH, University of Arizona DAVID J. NASH, Dave Nash & Associates, LLC DANIEL J. SCHEERES, University of Colorado, Boulder SARAH T. STEWART-MUKHOPADHYAY, Harvard University KATHRYN C. THORNTON, University of Virginia
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report Staff DWAYNE A. DAY, Study Director, Space Studies Board PAUL JACKSON, Study Director, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board DAVID H. SMITH, Study Director, Space Studies Board VICTORIA SWISHER, Research Associate, Space Studies Board ANDREA REBHOLZ, Program Associate, Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board LEWIS GROSWALD, Research Assistant, Space Studies Board RODNEY HOWARD, Senior Program Assistant, Space Studies Board
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report SPACE STUDIES BOARD CHARLES F. KENNEL, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, Chair A. THOMAS YOUNG, Lockheed Martin Corporation (retired), Vice Chair DANIEL N. BAKER, University of Colorado STEVEN J. BATTEL, Battel Engineering CHARLES L. BENNETT, Johns Hopkins University YVONNE C. BRILL, Aerospace Consultant ELIZABETH R. CANTWELL, Oak Ridge National Laboratory ANDREW B. CHRISTENSEN, Dixie State College and Aerospace Corporation ALAN DRESSLER, The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution JACK D. FELLOWS, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research FIONA A. HARRISON, California Institute of Technology JOAN JOHNSON-FREESE, Naval War College KLAUS KEIL, University of Hawaii MOLLY K. MACAULEY, Resources for the Future BERRIEN MOORE III, University of New Hampshire ROBERT T. PAPPALARDO, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology JAMES PAWELCZYK, Pennsylvania State University SOROOSH SOROOSHIAN, University of California, Irvine JOAN VERNIKOS, Thirdage LLC JOSEPH F. VEVERKA, Cornell University WARREN M. WASHINGTON, National Center for Atmospheric Research CHARLES E. WOODWARD, University of Minnesota ELLEN G. ZWEIBEL, University of Wisconsin RICHARD E. ROWBERG, Interim Director (from March 2, 2009) MARCIA S. SMITH, Director (until March 1, 2009)
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ENGINEERING BOARD RAYMOND S. COLLADAY, Lockheed Martin Astronautics (retired), Chair KYLE T. ALFRIEND, Texas A&M University CHARLES F. BOLDEN, JR., Jack and Panther, LLC1 AMY L. BUHRIG, Boeing Commercial Airplanes Group PIERRE CHAO, Center for Strategic and International Studies INDERJIT CHOPRA, University of Maryland, College Park JOHN-PAUL B. CLARKE, Georgia Institute of Technology RAVI B. DEO, Northrop Grumman Corporation (retired) MICA R. ENDSLEY, SA Technologies DAVID GOLDSTON, Harvard University R. JOHN HANSMAN, Massachusetts Institute of Technology JOHN B. HAYHURST, Boeing Company (retired) PRESTON HENNE, Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation RICHARD KOHRS, Independent Consultant IVETT LEYVA, Air Force Research Laboratory, Edwards Air Force Base ELAINE S. ORAN, Naval Research Laboratory ELI RESHOTKO, Case Western Reserve University EDMOND SOLIDAY, United Airlines (retired) Staff RICHARD E. ROWBERG, Interim Director (from March 2, 2009) MARCIA S. SMITH, Director (through March 1, 2009) 1 Major General Bolden became NASA administrator on July 17, 2009, after writing and review of this report was completed.
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report Preface The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008,1 required NASA to ask the National Research Council (NRC) to conduct a study of near-Earth object (NEO) surveys and hazard mitigation strategies. Near-Earth objects orbit the Sun and approach or cross Earth’s orbit. In a June 2, 2008, letter, James L. Green, director, Planetary Science Division, NASA, and Craig Foltz, acting director, Astronomical Sciences Division, National Science Foundation (NSF), wrote to Lennard Fisk, then chair of the Space Studies Board, requesting that the Space Studies Board, in cooperation with the Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board conduct a two-part study to address issues in the detection of potentially hazardous NEOs and approaches to mitigating identified hazards (See Appendix A). The ad hoc Committee to Review Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies consists of a steering committee, a panel on survey/detection, and a panel on mitigation. (See Appendix B for the committee’s statement of task.) The statement of task requires the committee to include an assessment of the costs of various alternatives, using independent cost estimating. Options that blend the use of different facilities (ground-and space-based) or involve international cooperation may be considered. Each study phase will result in a report to be delivered on the schedule provided below. Key questions to be addressed during each phase of the study are the following: Task 1: NEO Surveys What is the optimal approach to completing the NEO census called for in the George E. Brown, Jr. Near-Earth Object Survey section of the 2005 NASA Authorization Act to detect, track, catalogue, and characterize the physical characteristics of at least 90 percent of potentially hazardous NEOs larger than 140 meters in diameter by the end of year 2020? Specific issues to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following: What observational, data-reduction, and data-analysis resources are necessary to achieve the Congressional mandate of detecting, tracking, and cataloguing the NEO population of interest? What physical characteristics of individual objects above and beyond the determination of accurate orbits should be obtained during the survey to support mitigation efforts? What role could be played by the National Science Foundation’s Arecibo Observatory in characterizing these objects? What are possible roles of other ground- and space-based facilities in addressing survey goals, e.g., potential contributions of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan STARRS)? 1 Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008 (H.R. 2764; P.L. 110-161), Division B—Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008. December 26, 2007. 2 National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2005 (P.L. 109-155), S. 1281, January 4, 2005, Section 321, George E. Brown, Jr. Near-Earth Object Survey Act. 3 The committee notes that although the statement of task includes the term “detect,” which includes spotting asteroids that have previously been discovered. The committee therefore uses the more appropriate term “discover” to refer to the locating of previously unknown objects.
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report Task 2: NEO Hazard Mitigation What is the optimal approach to developing a deflection capability, including options with a significant international component? Issues to be considered include, but are not limited to, the following: What mitigation strategy should be followed if a potentially hazardous NEO is identified? What are the relative merits and costs of various deflection scenarios that have been proposed? NASA and NSF requested an initial report for the first task no later than September 30, 2009. This interim report responds to that requirement, although the committee’s work on this task is not yet complete. Congress has charged the committee to recommend ways to discover and (partially) characterize 90 percent of NEOs exceeding 140 meters in diameter by the year 2020 (smaller objects are not discarded, once found). However, during its first meeting, the committee was explicitly asked by congressional staff to consider whether or not the congressionally established discovery goals should be modified. The committee’s work on this task is also incomplete. In addition to evaluating the capability of currently available resources, the committee is studying a range of proposals for future surveys. The committee will evaluate these proposals in terms of their implications for NEO discovery and/or characterization. These proposals range from space-based missions in the infrared to ground-based surveys in the visible spectrum, to be conducted with various aperture sizes and numbers of telescopes. The committee will also consider combinations of these proposed projects, including combinations of ground- and space-based approaches. This consideration of projects and of the costs associated with them is necessary to formulate recommendations for possible future congressional action. The committee has thus deferred most of its findings and all of its recommendations for the final report, due at the end of 2009.
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report Acknowledgments This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the Report Review Committee of the National Research Council (NRC). The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Erik Asphaug, University of California, Santa Cruz, Alan W. Harris, Space Science Institute, Thomas D. Jones, NASA (retired), Jean-Luc Margot, University of California, Los Angeles, Brian P. Schmidt, Australian National University, Norman H. Sleep, Stanford University, Ronald Turner, ANSER, and Laurence R. Young, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Louis J Lanzerotti, New Jersey Institute of Technology. Appointed by the NRC, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution.
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Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report Contents INTERIM REPORT ON NEAR-EARTH OBJECT SURVEYS AND HAZARD MITIGATION STRATEGIES 1 APPENDIXES A Letter of Request 21 B Statement of Task 22 C Committee and Staff Biographical Information 23
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