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May 14, 2015 7:28 EST

Help Defend Earth Against Asteroid Threats: Earth is currently unprotected against incoming asteroids. EADP’s HAIV solution will change that!

iCrowdNewswire - May 14, 2015

 

Help Defend Earth Against Asteroid Threats


 

 

 

 

The Emergency Asteroid Defence Project (EADP) is a global non-profit initiative to develop an efficient and secure method of protecting the planet from disastrous asteroid impacts.

We are an international NGO based in Copenhagen, Denmark and made up of dedicated scientists, engineers, and experts working to design, construct, test, and ultimately implement the use of HAIVs (pronounced hai-vee, or Hypervelocity Asteroid Intercept Vehicle): small spacecrafts that can deflect or disperse asteroids and comets with only a few days’ warning. 

Developed at Iowa State University’s Asteroid Deflection Research Center, HAIVs are currently the best known method for protecting Earth from asteroid impact on relatively short notice.

Asteroid impact is a global threat requiring global cooperation. Due to a lack of funding and resources, scientists and government agencies including NASA have not yet found a definitive solution. This global crowdfunding campaign, the first ever for active asteroid defense, will fund a design feasibility study for the development, construction and in-space testing of HAIV asteroid defense spacecrafts, to be followed by the production of several HAIVs that will be ready for use in case of emergency.

With your help, we can save lives and advance science and research. With your help, we can solve a problem previously thought impossible.

 

It may sound like the stuff of sci-fi movies, but small asteroids measuring a few meters or so hit Earth’s atmosphere all the time — about once every other week.

Source: NASA Near Earth Object Program

These small asteroids and meteors usually dissipate harmlessly in the atmosphere, causing a fireball in the sky.

But the threat of a large asteroid actually hitting the Earth and causing a catastrophic impact is very real. And this potential threat remains poorly understood and severely under-researched still today.

As recently as 2013, a small asteroid came down without warning over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk, exploding with 30 times more energy than the atomic bomb that hit Hiroshima. The asteroid was about 66 feet (20 meters) in diameter and weighed about 13,000 metric tons — heavier than the Eiffel Tower. The shockwave rocked the city, shattering windows, damaging buildings, and injuring more than 1,000 people.

Source: PBS NewsHour

The Chelyabinsk asteroid exploded several miles above the city. It showered the region with debris, but the damage it caused was mostly from the shockwave of the explosion. Just imagine if it had hit the ground in one piece. The resulting disaster would have been catastrophic.

Sources: RIA Novosti, Russia Today

And that’s only the most recent major event. In 1908, the largest asteroid in recorded history hit Tunguska, a remote area of Siberia, with a force 1,000 times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb.

Interactive map of asteroid impacts since 2,300 BC. CLICK HERE to find an impact site near you. Source: CartoDB



 

Astronomers and government agencies only recently began surveying and tracking potentially hazardous asteroids. And in fact, there is no plan in place for intercepting and deflecting asteroids at all — let alone on short notice.

About 12,000 near-Earth asteroids and meteors have been discovered so far. Around 1,000 of those are larger than 1 kilometer across (about 0.6 miles), which could cause a severe global catastrophe if they hit Earth.

Map of the 6,400 biggest potentially hazardous asteroids, out of millions.

 
 

While such events are rare, they do happen. An asteroid like the one that hit Tunguska, with 1,000 times more power than an atomic bomb, hits Earth once every 500 years, on average. 

But, as David J. Eicher, the editor of Astronomy magazine, wrote, these are just averages; “the next big impact could happen next year, or 100 years from now. Or 300 million years from now. Averages are numbers games and don’t particularly care when the last event occurred.”

And, as the Chelyabinsk meteor proved, where and when these things might happen is largely a guessing game. 

“I just want to again point out that there is a 30 percent chance that there is a 5 megaton or so impact that’s going to happen in a random location on this planet this century, so this is not hypothetical.” —Dr. Ed Lu, former NASA astronaut and CEO of the B612 Foundation, testifying before the U.S. Congress Science and Space Subcommittee on 19 March 2013. Source: CSPAN.

In short, we now understand the potential danger more than ever before, and the race is on to find a plan for detecting and deflecting potentially catastrophic asteroids and comets. No definitive solution has yet been found by scientists or government agencies.

The U.S. Congress in 2005 asked NASA to come up with a plan for tracking and deflecting asteroids. But because of its poor budget and lack of resources, NASA’s own inspector general concluded in 2014 that the plan was a failure and would not meet its goals. 

Asteroid impact is a global threat that requires global cooperation. We need to pursue the best research to develop the best plan for deflecting asteroids before they hit.

That’s where this crowdfunding campaign comes in.

Researchers led by Prof. Bong Wie at Iowa State University’s Asteroid Deflection Research Center in partnership with the Emergency Asteroid Defence Project have developed a plan that is the best-known way to deflect or dissipate asteroids in an emergency scenario.

A 3D model of the HAIV.

The HAIV is a two-body spacecraft capable of striking an asteroid with a one-two punch. The fore body, or Leader, first hits the asteroid with a kinetic impact, making a crater in it. The aft body, or Follower, then delivers an NED (nuclear explosive device) into the crater to break up the asteroid into small harmless pieces, eliminating the threat.

This combination double-impact strategy requires only 1/20th the explosive force that would be necessary to shatter an asteroid with a direct nuclear impact.

 

While scientists and government agencies around the world are aware of the potential threat of asteroid collision, no major funding has yet been designated for a near-Earth object mitigation technology study.
The Emergency Asteroid Defence Project is a partnership of scientists, engineers, experts, and entrepreneurs dedicated to studying, testing, and constructing an asteroid defence strategy here and now, before it’s too late.

The EADP Team at the Planetary Defense Conference 2015 in Rome.

This crowdfunding campaign will fund the first real technological design feasibility study of HAIVs, which are intended to deflect or dissipate potentially catastrophic asteroids in emergency scenarios.

Shipping Costs:

We did not include the shipping costs in the price of the rewards, because they will vary depending on where you are from and which perk you have selected. Please make sure that you add the shipping costs for your region as an ‘additional gift’ when you select your reward.

You can find your shipping costs in the below table:

  • February 2011 – December 2014: Extensive research, development and refinement of the HAIV concept, and investigating alternative solutions.
  • January 2015: Set up project team and organization.
  • March 2015: Set up crowdfunding team and organization.
  • April 2015: Crowdfunding campaign planning phase.

  • July 2015 – September 2015: HAIV Technical Design Study (TDS).
  • October 2015: Start of HAIV first construction phase. Duration: 18-24 months. Plan and design technical components of the HAIV spacecraft.
  • Early/mid 2017: Mission simulations and first test mission in collaboration with third party such as SpaceX. Duration: 6 months. First launch within 3-5 months.
  • Late 2017: (After first test mission) Construction of second HAIV. Duration: 18 months.
  • 2018+: Development of a bigger HAIV for larger size asteroids (up to 0.6 mi. / 1 km in diameter)

 

 

How much does shipping cost for me and why is it not included?

We did not include the shipping costs in the price of the rewards, because they will vary depending on where you are from and which perk you have selected. Please make sure that you add the shipping costs for your region as an ‘additional gift’ when you select your reward.

You can find your shipping costs in the below table:

How will you get nuclear explosives?

We will not! The Emergency Asteroid Defence Project will develop and build the HAIV, which is the vehicle that transports the device, to provide a sustainable solution for protecting Earth from an imminent asteroid threat. A nuclear missile would not be able to deflect an incoming asteroid just by itself. We will not arm the HAIV, nor will we execute the mission.

How do you know there is an asteroid coming?

There are already telescopes out there watching the sky and searching for incoming asteroid threats. There are, for example, several official programs, the private NASA partnership ATLAS and also the Sentinel Mission dedicated to help this cause. NASA is tracking all the asteroids we currently know about, but experts say that this list contains merely around 1% of all the asteroids estimated to be around us.

When will be the next time an asteroid hits earth?

Asteroids hit Earth many times every year. Some of them are not larger than a basketball, but some of them have the destructive power of hundreds of nuclear bombs.From 1993 to 2013, 556 individual events were recorded by NASA , but many more were probably not recorded since most of our planet’s surface is covered by water and uninhabited. Consequently, those parts of the sky are not monitored as thoroughly as the parts above our cities and villages.The last big event was the Chelyabinsk Meteor in February 2013 damaging 100,000 homes and injuring more than 1,000 people. The incident happened without any warning and there was no emergency plan in place. If the asteroid had been only a bit larger (5 meters in diameter more), it could have destroyed the entire city. If it had been just a little faster or a little slower, it could have crashed almost anywhere on Earth.Therefore, it is hard to predict the next major impact. It could be tomorrow, next month or in a year. Still, there are no global emergency plans for such a situation in place.

Will this system protect us against any size of asteroid?

Yes, the HAIV system has been developed to be scalable to different sizes depending on the size of the asteroid. Therefore, a big-enough HAIV can deflect or destroy any kind of asteroid. While a 100 kg HAIV will only be able to protect us from asteroids with an average diameter of 50 meters, the largest currently planned HAIV (3,000 kg) could handle asteroids as big as one kilometer in diameter. Experts suggest that 94% of asteroids that are above one kilometer in diameter have already been discovered and declared to not be dangerous for us at the moment.

When will we see the first spacecraft?

The development of the first HAIV will take 18 to 24 months, followed by a six-month period of tests. After that, a second HAIV will be produced based on the test results of the first model. This will take approximately 6 to 12 months, extending the total timeline to 30 to 42 months – 2,5 to 3,5 years.

More Frequently Asked Questions:

We receive many questions about our project every day. Therefore, we collect them and provide the most frequent ones on our FAQ page. Click here to find more frequently asked questions.

Contact Information:

Henrik Skaksen Jacobsen

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