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AIAA and Aerospace Corporation Co-Sponsor Planetary Defense Conference: Defending Earth from Asteroids and Comets

Press Release From: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Posted: Monday, January 19, 2004

"The fact that a devastating asteroid impact with Earth is a low probability event, it is not zero, it has happened before. If we do not prevent such an occurrence when we have the capability to do so, it would be the greatest crime in human history." Rusty Schweickart, Director, B612 Foundation, former NASA astronaut

Developing strategies for mitigating threats from asteroids and preparing for catastrophic events will be discussed when an international group of scientists, engineers, space policy makers, and others gather in Garden Grove, Calif., Feb. 23-26 for the Planetary Defense Conference 2004 (PDC). Participants will develop a set of recommendations for improving the ability to successfully defend our planet from possible impact threats. This is the first in a series of conferences devoted to defending Earth from asteroids.

William Ailor, Aerospace Corporation, PDC General Chair states, "At this point, we may find we have few or no options for dealing effectively with an incoming asteroid. One objective of the conference will be to develop recommendations for hardware and policy directions which will give us more options in the future."

SPECIAL EVENT: This conference will showcase the film "ASTEROID! THE DOOMSDAY ROCK." It's a story of a multi-national team of gifted scientists who believe and intend to prove that the world's largest environmental disaster is entirely preventable. Presenters include:

  • Russell Schweickart, B612 Foundation
  • Ed Lu, NASA, Johnson Space Center
  • Brig, Gen. Simon P. Warden, U.S. Air Force, Los Angles, CA
  • The Honorable Lembit Opik, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom
  • John Logson, George Washington University
  • Dr. Andrea Carusi, Pisa, Italy
  • Dennis Byrnes, NASA, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
  • Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, U.S. House of Representatives, Orange
  • County, CA
  • Williams Burrows, noted author, New York University
  • Larry Niven, noted author, Chatsworth, CA

The Planetary Defense Conference is co-sponsored by The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and The Aerospace Corporation.

For registration information or additional conference information go to: www.aiaa.org/events/pdc04

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