With all the space junk floating around Earth, it’s no wonder that people are beginning to thinks that apocalyptic scenarios like the one depicted in Armageddon can become reality. For this reason, NASA established a planetary defense program, a collaboration between several space agencies aimed at protecting the Earth from space threats.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that we are going to get hit by a big hunk of space debris, but it is very important to exercise caution in this matter. And as more NEO’s (Near Earth Objects) are being detected each day, NASA’s initiative couldn’t have come at a better time.
And so NASA officially announced its brand new space defense program called the Planetary Defense Coordination Office or PDCO for short.
PDCO’s mandate will be to identify NEO’s, assess the potential threat of the object, and, if necessary, to take any measures to prevent the object from colliding with our planet. I don’t think that we’ll be getting a Harry Stamper to drill the brains out of an asteroid, but we can sure that the boys and girls from NASA have some decent pieces of equipment standing by to offer protection from this kind of threat.
NASA established a planetary defense program in the hope that doomsday scenarios will never take place. As said, the Office has a dual mandate: to identify and catalog potential hazardous near-Earth object and, if it necessary, to coordinate a with other space agencies in order to protect Earth.
On the subject of protection against potentially hazardous NEOs, NASA has cooked up quite a plan. With the office in the state, the North American space agency was partnered up with the European Space Agency to refine the defense plan.
Moreover, it would seem that the ESA has worked, for some time now, on certain projects in involving planetary defense.
The Planetary Defense Coordination Office is run by NASA’s Science Directorate. As we mentioned, the program must be capable of detecting near-Earth objects large enough to pose a threat to our planet.
A space object can be regarded as a threat towards out planet if it has more than 30 to 50 meters in diameter. Also, the office would declare a critical condition if such an object gets within a range of 150 million kilometers.
The most common methods employed to identify hazardous space objects are NASA’s ground telescopes and the novel near-Earth object wise infrared telescope, which is NASA’s newest asset.
NASA established a planetary defense program in order to react in case an asteroid decides to pay us a visit.