The White House has published a 25-page report on ‘National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy,’ detailing preparations in the event that a celestial object such as a ‘killer asteroid’ is found to be on a collision course with Earth.
The report was written by the Interagency Working Group (IWG) for Detecting and Mitigating the Impact of Earth-bound Near-Earth Objects (DAMIEN). The document’s purpose is to “seek to improve our Nation’s preparedness to address the hazard of near-Earth object (NEO) impacts by enhancing the integration of existing national and international assets and adding important capabilities that are currently lacking.”
It outlined seven strategic goals, including to improve the detection and characterization of NEO’s, to improve modeling and predictions of their behavior, to develop methods to deflect and disturb them, to develop emergency procedures in an impact scenario, to establish impact response and recovery procedures, to leverage and support international cooperation in the event of a potential NEO impact, as well as to coordinate communications of related US government agencies and establish a series of procedures if a potential NEO impact is detected.
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