Asteroid Affirmative



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USFG Key



The US has more resources to detect asteroids-even if international cooperation is likely, US unilateral action can solve and serve as a key jumpstart to coordination

IRWIN I. SHAPIRO et al in 10,( 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, Purdue University JOSEPH H. ROTHENBERG, Universal Space Network, 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, THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS, http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~planets/sstewart/reprints/other/4_NEOReportDefending%20Planet%20Earth%20Prepub%202010.pdf)\

The probability of a devastating impact in the United States is small compared to the likelihood of an impact in other nations, most with far fewer resources to detect, track and defend against an incoming NEO. The NEO hazard, however, is such that a single country, acting unilaterally, could potentially solve the problem. Although the United States has a responsibility to identify and defend against threats with global consequences, the United States does not have to bear the full burden for such programs. There have been several international efforts to characterize objects in the near-Earth environment, but these studies have generally been driven by scientific curiosity and were not designed to address the risk of NEOs. As NEO survey requirements evolve to fainter objects and mitigation strategies are refined, additional resources will be necessary that could be provided by other developed countries. International partnerships can be sought with other science organizations, notably but not exclusively space agencies, in the areas of surveys, characterization, and mitigation technologies. NEO discovery rates and survey completeness could be significantly enhanced through coordinated use of telescopes owned and operated by other nations. Future NEO space missions, carried out either by the United States, other nations, or a cooperation of countries could be optimized for characterization that enables development and refinement of mitigation strategies. Space missions to test such strategies could also be developed on a cooperative basis with other nations, making use of complementary capability. While a coordinated intergovernmental program is needed to address the full spectrum of activities associated with NEO surveys, characterization, and mitigation, an important first step in this direction would be to establish an international partnership, perhaps of space agencies, to develop a comprehensive strategy for dealing with NEO hazards.
**Add-Ons**

Science diplomacy



The plan bolsters US leadership in space science, enhancing international science diplomacy

IRWIN I. SHAPIRO et al in 10,( 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, Purdue University JOSEPH H. ROTHENBERG, Universal Space Network, 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, THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS, http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~planets/sstewart/reprints/other/4_NEOReportDefending%20Planet%20Earth%20Prepub%202010.pdf)\

Many scientists, especially among the world’s planetary scientists, have been concerned for well over a decade with the danger posed to Earth from the impact of an asteroid or comet. Officials from various nations have echoed these concerns. Thus, a substantial and important component of the existing international cooperation is the informal contact between professional scientists and engineers, mainly of space-faring nations, but also including official representatives from some other countries. International conferences and small meetings, as well as the Internet, allow experts in different aspects of space science and technology, including asteroid detection and mitigation, to personally know their counterparts in other nations. Such connections often lead to offers of, or requests for, aid in solution of common problems arising in the course of their work. Veterans of the United States or Russian space programs often participate either openly or behind the scenes in the European Space Agency and the Japanese Space Agency, and Indian and Chinese space activities. Nuclear-weapons designers in both Russia and the United States have often met to discuss use of nuclear explosives to effect asteroid orbit changes. In the event of a sudden emergency due to discovery of a threatening NEO it is likely that people forming this international network will be the first to communicate with one another and consider responses to the threat. For instance, when an observatory in Arizona discovered NEO 2008 TC3 only 19 hours before its impact in Sudan, the informal network of amateur and professional astronomers in many countries responded in time for thousands of observations of the object to be made and communicated to the MPC, thus allowing an extremely accurate prediction of the time (<1 min error) and location (<1 km error) of impact. Formal integration of these elements, with agreed to plans, roles, and responsibilities is needed well in advance of the identification of any specific threat. The United States is in a unique position to lead the sustained effort required to marshal the international community to ensure preparedness.




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