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SGAC releases a film about the true facts around asteroids that threaten Earth

Press Release From: Space Generation Advisory Council
Posted: Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) Near Earth Object (NEO) Working Group has released a film about NEOs and planetary defense. The volunteer made documentary presents the opinions of international experts on issues surrounding defending Earth from asteroid and comet impacts.

The general public has constantly feared threatening asteroids. At the same time, scientists and astronomers have long analyzed the potential devastation that an impact from space could cause. Only recently, engineers have been designing realistic missions to stop these natural disasters. Encouraged by this fearful mystery that lies around asteroids, as well as by the latest intense planetary defense research, the SGAC NEO Working Group had the initiative of making a film that conveyed non-exaggerated facts about the dangers we face from space impacts, based on recent research and the opinion of international experts on planetary defense. The film can be watched at http://www.spacegeneration.org/node/2681

The movie is made of four sections, each focusing on one important aspect regarding asteroid impact: definition and understanding, deflection methods, public awareness and asteroid exploitation. The first part describes what asteroids and comets are (the ones that orbit close to the Earth are called NEOs), what are they made of, how they appeared and how they can be discovered and monitored, as well as what percentage of all known NEOs are dangerous. The second part presents a debate about the most realistic and efficient methods of mitigating potential asteroid dangers. Also, this part raises an important question: who has the responsibility of funding this type of research or missions to destroy threatening asteroids? Further on, the movie's third part analyzes public awareness concerning asteroid threats and how much people should worry about NEOs. Finally, the last part gives a more optimistic view on asteroids, presenting the ways in which they can help humans in expl
oration and understanding of the universe, thus turning these potential disasters into possible new frontiers.


First conceived at the 2008 Space Generation Congress, the documentary uses footage from interviews made in April at the 2009 Planetary Defense Conference in Grenada, Spain. At the same time, the film promotes the first "Youth of Defense Conference" which will be held in Romania, in 2011. Acting like a platform for the younger attendees to openly discuss their opinions, the SGAC conference gives students and young professionals the opportunity to get involved with planetary defense.

The NEO Working Group video is one example of SGAC planetary defense initiatives. In addition to including this topic in its annual Space Generation Congress and supporting the "Planetary Defense Conference", SGAC also holds an annual competition named "Move an Asteroid," designed to give students and young professionals the opportunity to develop technical solutions to these potential NEO dangers. SGAC is also working with Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart on different aspects of NEOs and is exploring opportunities to work together with the Association of Space Explorers (ASE).

About SGAC:

The Space Generation Advisory Council in support of the United Nations Program on Space Application (SGAC) is a non-governmental organization which aims to represent university students and young space professionals to the United Nations, States, and space agencies. SGAC has permanent observer status in the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). SGAC has a long history and was conceived at the Third United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Space (UNISPACE-III) in Vienna in 1999. The SGAC Executive Council is made up of representatives from each of the six UN regions, and has a larger body of representatives from nation states. Our focus is on pragmatic space policy advice to policy makers based on the interests of students and young professionals, broadly in the age range 18-35, interested in space, from around the world. SGAC currently has 4,000 members in over 90 countries.

Credits:

Direction, Co-Production, Filming and Scriptwriting by Andrew Bacon
Editing, Co-Production and Motion Graphics by Gavin Childs
Narration and Scriptwriting by Ryan Anderson
Interviews conducted by Andrew Bacon and Tejal Thakore at 2009 Planetary Defence Conference
Animations by Shiblee Imtiaz Hasan and Jeffrey Rivera
Korean Translation by Yeongju Kim
Original Concept by the 2008 Space Generation Congress NEO Working Group:
Andrew Bacon
A.C. Charania
Kat Corderre
Mary D'Souza
Yeongju Kim
Dae In Park
Tejal Thakore
Music by DoKashiteru
http://ccmixter.org/people/DoKashiteru
All original content is published under the Creative Commons 3.0 Share-Alike License

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