An international detection mechanism for near-earth objects

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1AC Practice 10-20
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Melamed, Jan 2018 – Nahum, project leader in The Aerospace Corporation’s Vehicle Systems Division. He led development of the NEO Deflection App, a web-based asteroid deflection simulator, for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and developed a planetary defense class at The Aerospace Corporation utilizing the tool. He serves on organizing committees for planetary defense conferences and planetary defense exercises and frequently delivers presentations at these venues. Dr. Melamed obtained his M.S. in aeronautical engineering from the Technion—Israel Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology; “PLANETARY DEFENSE AGAINST ASTEROID STRIKES: RISKS, OPTIONS, AND COSTS,” The Aerospace Corporation,
A Multinational Challenge
Figure 1 depicts a typical deflection mission scenario in which a spacecraft is launched and intercepts the asteroid to nudge it off course and avert impact with Earth. Within the United States, there are two primary schools of thought on how to undertake such a mission.4 One option would be for the United States to deal with the threat on its own—which would not be unrealistic, considering the country’s technological advantages. A second option would be for an international agency to coordinate the response. A notable concern is that sharing technology with foreign states could allow exploitation and misuse in a fashion that goes against national interests. The challenge, then, is to establish such an agency without compromising the advantages of any one nation. Such an approach, if successful, could counterbalance possible risks through strict compartmentalization of state-specific components. Contributions in nonthreatening areas, such as logistics and funding, can potentially serve as the necessary support where unwanted dissemination of information is a risk. In addressing asteroid threats, the first step is recognition and analysis. Communities at risk will need to raise awareness within their respective borders and coordinate local preparations and cooperative actions. This is especially important for any threat whose potential impact location runs through nations incapable of mounting significant deflection or destruction efforts. This remains a likely condition, considering that only 10 of the 193 United Nations members have developed the capacity to launch satellites into space.11,12 Only five nations (the United States, Russia, India, Japan, and China) and one international organization (the European Space Agency) have the capability to conduct interplanetary launches. Thus, nearly 190 member countries remain entirely incapable of self-defense. For these countries, international cooperation is essential. One effective early-phase measure the international community could undertake is to ensure that the crisis is not handled in a segregated fashion. Spreading the effort among a number of willing contributors can limit the cost and risk. The cost of building a kinetic impactor spacecraft is dependent on how much mass needs to be delivered. Launch vehicle costs range from roughly $270 million to $450 million for commercially available launch service providers, so a deflection campaign comes at a steep cost of about $1 billion per launch.13 Implementing a policy of planetary defense as a global effort allows the application of technological, economic, intellectual, and political resources of many nations. A unified international front that passively monitors threats on a continuing basis and that can be mobilized to handle active threats upon detection could greatly enhance flexibility in handling a greater variety of NEO threats. Present-day predictions of future scenarios are invariably inaccurate due to the magnitude of variables involved.14 Therefore, a notable option for the international community is to take various proactive measures to enhance planetary defense capabilities. These include funding research and development of observatory infrastructure to enhance threat-detection capacity (which is already underway) as well as improving launch vehicles and payloads to optimize capability of deflection. Any minimization of reaction time, development of new technology, and construction of necessary infrastructure is invaluable in planetary defense. Having a deflection and delivery system in place at the onset of a threat could lower the response period, and therefore the overall risk. Because certainty of impact is low at the beginning of threat detection and analysis, the preexistence of necessary infrastructure provides greater maneuverability throughout the preparation. Advance planning increases options, readies physical components, limits supplementary construction time, and establishes political ties to help maximize efficiency. Creating a unified nonpolitical organization specifically aimed at global protection from NEOs could greatly decrease the amount of bureaucracy and differences among separate measures set in place by individual nations. In a crisis where the potential cost is so high and the time for action so limited, unity and coherence in response is not only desirable but essential. Coordinated communication and action could help reduce misinterpretation and prevent a general state of panic at the onset of the crisis when uncertainty is high and misinformation prevails. There are, however, factors that should be considered for an effective membership to form. Many countries currently lacking space-capable infrastructure are unable to afford such institutions. The NEO threat does not distinguish between political boundaries, so these nations remain at risk, and would benefit from membership. To compensate spacefaring nations for the additional burden of protection, these countries could still provide materials, funds, facilities, and specialists to the proposed agency. Belonging to such a collection of nations could benefit nonspacefaring member states by advancing their technological capabilities, allowing greater future contribution to exoatmospheric endeavors and creating practical technologies. Past orbital experiments have produced now-commonplace discoveries such as freeze-dried food, solar cells, and temper foam.15 Future research in the field of planetary defense could likewise produce useful advances in aerospace equipment and other related technologies. With the rise of private interest in extraterrestrial resources, participation in planetary defense could open numerous states to greater economic development and contribute to global stability.

Otherwise, rich countries won’t priorities financing responses to non-national threats

Ivan Couronne, 4-30-19, (Science Reporter for Agence France-Presse (AFP), based in Washington, D.c., and also covers politics and Congress, “What if an asteroid was about to hit Earth? Scientists ponder question”, SpaceDaily,
This week's exercise seeks to simulate global response to a catastrophic meteorite. The first step is aiming telescopes at the threat to precisely calculate its speed and trajectory, following rough initial estimates. Then it boils down to two choices: try to deflect the object, or evacuate. If it is less than 165 feet, the international consensus is to evacuate the threatened region. According to Koschny, it is possible to predict the country it will strike two weeks ahead. Days away from impact, it can be narrowed down to within hundreds of kilometers. What about bigger objects? Trying to nuke them to smithereens like in the movie Armageddon would be bad idea, because it could just create smaller but still dangerous pieces. The plan, instead, is to launch a device toward the asteroid to divert its trajectory -- like a cosmic bumper car. NASA plans to test this idea out on a real asteroid 492 feet across, in 2022, with the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission. One issue that remains is politics, says Romana Kofler, of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. "Who would be the decision making authority?" she asked. "The consensus was to leave this aspect out." The United Nations Security Council would likely be convened, but it's an open question as to whether rich countries would finance an operation if they themselves weren't in the sights of 2000SG344 or another celestial rock.

Specifically, cooperation with Russia is critical---

1---they’re the only country with the technical infrastructure for Kinetic interceptors.

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