Archive for February, 2016

Virgin Spaceship Unity is unveiled in Mojave, California, Friday February 19th, 2016. VSS Unity is the first vehicle to be manufactured by The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic's wholly owned manufacturing arm, and is the second vehicle of its design ever constructed. VSS Unity was unveiled in FAITH (Final Assembly Integration Test Hangar), the Mojave-based home of manufacturing and testing for Virgin Galactic's human space flight program. Credit: Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galactic

Virgin Spaceship Unity is unveiled in Mojave, California, Friday February 19th, 2016. VSS Unity is the first vehicle to be manufactured by The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s wholly owned manufacturing arm, and is the second vehicle of its design ever constructed. VSS Unity was unveiled in FAITH (Final Assembly Integration Test Hangar), the Mojave-based home of manufacturing and testing for Virgin Galactic’s human space flight program.
Credit: Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galactic

MOJAVE, California – The February 19th rollout of the new VSS Unity here proved to be a grand event, a morale booster for The Spaceship Company and Virgin Galactic that’s backed by founder and entrepreneur, Richard Branson.

Following the Oct. 31, 2014 mishap of SpaceShipTwo breaking up over the Mojave desert here and killing one of its two-person, test piloting crew, a new SpaceShipTwo was premiered, unveiled here at the Final Assembly Integration Test Hangar (FAITH).

It is the first suborbital vehicle to be manufactured by The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s wholly owned manufacturing arm.

Richard Branson during rollout ceremonies for new SpaceShipTwo. Credit: Leonard David

Richard Branson during rollout ceremonies for new SpaceShipTwo.
Credit: Leonard David

Teamwork

Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said, “Together, we can make space accessible in a way that has only been dreamt of before now, and by doing so can bring positive change to life on Earth. Our beautiful new spaceship, VSS Unity, is the embodiment of that goal and will provide us with an unprecedented body of experience which will in turn lay the foundations for Virgin Galactic’s future. Her creation is also great testament to what can be achieved when true teamwork, great skill and deep pride are combined with a common purpose.”

Actor and Pilot Harrison Ford listens to Virgin Galactic chief pilot Dave Mackay inside the new SS2. Credit: Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galactic

Actor and Pilot Harrison Ford listens to Virgin Galactic chief pilot Dave Mackay inside the new SS2.
Credit: Mark Greenberg/Virgin Galactic

 

Everyday explorers

Virgin Galactic CEO George T. Whitesides said, “We seek to open space to people from all walks of life, and today’s milestone is big step toward that goal. Outer space is the province of all humanity, and we think it is about time that all of humanity has a chance to explore it: not just pilots but also painters, not just engineers but also everyday explorers.”

 

 

Ready to start testing

The Spaceship Company President Doug Shane said, “Today is the final step of years of manufacturing and extensive testing on every subsystem and component that makes up the spaceship. Today is also the first day of a brand new spaceship that is ready to start testing as an integrated vehicle. I’m most proud of the fact that we have built a talented manufacturing and testing team with an end-to-end capability for vehicle design. We look forward to fulfilling our aim as The Spaceship Company with vehicles of the future for Virgin Galactic and the rest of the industry.”

Quite the day of enjoying the unveiling of VSS Unity, Leonard & Barbara David. Credit: Robert Pearlman/collectSPACE

Quite the day of enjoying the unveiling of VSS Unity, Leonard & Barbara David.
Credit: Robert Pearlman/collectSPACE

Virgin Spaceship Unity is unveiled in Mojave, California, Friday February 19th, 2016. Credit: VG/Mark Greenberg

Virgin Spaceship Unity is unveiled in Mojave, California, Friday February 19th, 2016.
Credit: VG/Mark Greenberg

 

MOJAVE, California – Some 16 months after the mishap of SpaceShipTwo breaking up over the desert here and killing one of its two-person, test piloting crew, a new SpaceShipTwo has been rolled out.

It is the first vehicle to be manufactured by The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s wholly owned manufacturing arm.

VSS Unity was unveiled here at the Final Assembly Integration Test Hangar (FAITH).

Test dates

Noted astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking, named the new vehicle Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity via a recorded speech.

With VSS Unity now fully manufactured and rolled out today, The Spaceship Company is set to undertake integrated systems verification, followed by ground and flight tests in Mojave and ground and air exercises at its future home in Spaceport America, New Mexico.

Company officials were tentative to discuss specific dates of future tests leading to commercial public space travel.

Pressing forward

It was announced here that The Spaceship Company has already started work on the next SpaceShipTwo.

Despite the Oct. 31, 2014 loss of SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic’s founder, Sir Richard Branson, vowed to press forward on building the world’s first commercial spaceline.

Leap of FAITH taken by Richard Branson. Credit: Jack Brockway

Leap of FAITH taken by Richard Branson.
Credit: Jack Brockway

Branson said that after the accident, he was touched by messages that gave the company a very clear direction when it came to choosing a name for their next spaceship.

“And thanks to one message in particular I knew without a doubt who I was going to ask to name her. That message came from the great man himself who never ceases to amaze and inspire us all,” Branson said.

Space: a great unifier

The voice of Stephen Hawking boomed through the hangar, including an image of his eye projected on overhead screens. In part, he said:

“We are entering a new space age and I hope, this will help to create a new unity. Space exploration has already been a great unifier – we seem able to cooperate between nations in space in a way we can only envy on Earth. Taking more and more passengers out into space will enable them and us to look both outwards and back, but with a fresh perspective in both directions. It will help bring new meaning to our place on Earth and to our responsibilities as its stewards, and it will help us to recognize our place and our future in the cosmos – which is where I believe our ultimate destiny lies.”

Credit: U.S. Postal Service

Credit: U.S. Postal Service

On February 22, 2016, the United States Postal Service will release a new, one-ounce, international-rate stamp: A commemorative stamp.

Why? Because exploration of the Moon has always been an international endeavor, explains the U.S. Postal Service.

To distinguish this stamp from other Forever stamps, the shape of the international stamp is round and bears the words “Global Forever.”

The Moon features a detailed photograph of the full moon. The image captures the brilliant surface of Earth’s only natural satellite. The selvage features a tree line silhouetted against the night sky. The new Global Forever stamps are being issued in self-adhesive panes of 10. The stamp is issued at the $1.20 price.

How to order

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail.

They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store® website at: https://store.usps.com/store/ … or by calling 800-782-6724.

They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:

The Moon Stamp

Special Events

PO Box 92282

Washington, D.C. 20090-2282

For more information on this stamp, go to:

http://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2016/pb22435/html/info_008.htm

Mastcam Right camera on Curiosity snapped this image on Sol 1255 February 16, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Mastcam Right camera on Curiosity snapped this image on Sol 1255 February 16, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

 

 

It is Sol 1257 for the NASA Curiosity Mars rover.

New imagery has been released showing the surrounding Mars landscape as the rover continues its mission since landing on the Red Planet in August 2012.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

A new map has been posted showing the route driven by Curiosity through the 1255 Martian day, or sol, of the robot’s trek on Mars, as of February, 16, 2016).

Numbering of the dots along the line in the photo indicate the sol number of each drive. North is up. From Sol 1250 to Sol 1255, Curiosity had driven a straight line distance of about 48.76 feet (14.86 meters).

The base image from the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment Camera (HiRISE) in NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Mastcam Left image taken by Curiosity on Sol 1255, February 16, 2016. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Mastcam Left image taken by Curiosity on Sol 1255, February 16, 2016.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Navcam Right B image taken by Curiosity on Sol 1256, February 17, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Navcam Right B image taken by Curiosity on Sol 1256, February 17, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The asteroid that exploded near Chelyabinsk, Russia on Feb. 15, 2013 has provided scientists new insights into the risks of smaller asteroid impacts. This 3D simulation of the Chelyabinsk meteor explosion by Mark Boslough was rendered by Brad Carvey using the CTH code on Sandia National Laboratories' Red Sky supercomputer. Andrea Carvey composited the wireframe tail. Photo by Olga Kruglova. Credit: Sandia National Laboratories

The asteroid that exploded near Chelyabinsk, Russia on Feb. 15, 2013 has provided scientists new insights into the risks of smaller asteroid impacts. This 3D simulation of the Chelyabinsk meteor explosion by Mark Boslough was rendered by Brad Carvey using the CTH code on Sandia National Laboratories’ Red Sky supercomputer. Andrea Carvey composited the wireframe tail. Photo by Olga Kruglova.
Credit: Sandia National Laboratories

The Chelyabinsk superbolide of February 15, 2013 created a whopper of a mess just south of the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia.

But where in space did the Chelyabinsk space rock come from?

Spanish astrodynamicists, brothers Carlos and Raúl de la Fuente Marcos and Sverre J. Aarseth, a scientist of the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) have taken a hard look at that question.

Their work has been published by The Astrophysical Journal.

Dynamical relative

The results of their modeling suggest that asteroid 2011 EO40 is a good dynamical relative of the parent body of the Chelyabinsk superbolide…although there is no spectroscopic evidence linking genetically 2011 EO40 to Chelyabinsk, at least not yet.

They report that the common origin of both celestial objects is a possibility that cannot be discarded using the currently available evidence.

The results obtained by the team indicate that the Chelyabinsk impactor likely passed a gravitational keyhole on February 15, 1982 – during a close encounter with Earth at a distance shorter than 0.0015 AU.

As a result of this close encounter, the initial 2011 EO40-like trajectory of the Chelyabinsk meteoroid was changed into the one that drove the meteoroid to strike the Earth over three decades later.

Tangled web

The researchers do admit that it is very difficult to know the exact asteroid that gave origin to the Chelyabinsk superbolide because in the neighborhood of our planet there is a tangled web of overlapping gravitational resonances that confines asteroids of heterogeneous, or diverse, origin to very similar orbits.

“These gravitational resonances create an environment like that of the great cities that attract people from different places and with very diverse backgrounds,” says de la Fuente Marcos, who adds: “Having two very similar orbits today does not imply that these orbits were also similar in the remote past.”

Video catalog!

A number of video records obtained by casual eyewitnesses, dashboard cameras in cars, security, and traffic cameras have been made publicly available on the Internet. These represent a rich repository for future scientific studies of this unique event.

This catalog of video records of the 2013 Chelyabinsk superbolide can be found here:

http://meteor.asu.cas.cz/Chelyabinsk/

The new research by Carlos and Raúl de la Fuente Marcos and Sverre Aarseth is to be published next month by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

This work is now available at:

http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0004-637X/812/1/26

Philae was the first human-made object to make a landing on a comet. Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab

Philae was the first human-made object to make a landing on a comet.
Credit: ESA/ATG Medialab

 

European scientists are in mourning regarding the passing of Philae, the little lander that could…and did.

On November 12, 2014, Philae made a spectacular comet landing, coming to rest on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. It was ejected from the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Rosetta orbiter following a 10-year journey through space to reach the target.

Mums the word

“Unfortunately, the probability of Philae re-establishing contact with our team at the DLR Lander Control Center (LCC) is almost zero, and we will no longer be sending any commands…it would be very surprising if we received a signal now,” said Stephan Ulamec Philae Project Manager of the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR).

The last prolonged silence had already indicated that contact with the Philae lander will be increasingly unlikely, and the conditions on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko have become more hostile.

This series of 19 images, acquired by the Rosetta orbiter’s Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) on November 12, 2014, shows the Philae lander during its descent towards Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

This series of 19 images, acquired by the Rosetta orbiter’s Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) on November 12, 2014, shows the Philae lander during its descent towards Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
Credit: ESA/Rosetta/MPS for OSIRIS Team MPS/UPD/LAM/IAA/SSO/INTA/UPM/DASP/IDA

Meanwhile, ESA’s Rosetta spacecraft will continue to orbit the comet and carry out measurements with its scientific instruments until September 2016.

Last images

Despite the glum news about Philae, the communication unit onboard Rosetta will not be switched off yet. It will continue to listen for signals from the lander in the coming months until it will be switched off due to power constraints.

Scientists carried out over 60 hours of research with Philae’s instruments, acquiring images, sensing molecules and attempting to hammer the unexpectedly hard surface of the comet.

Two-part image taken by Philae comet lander. Photo shows Philae on the surface - with one of its landing legs visible. Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

Two-part image taken by Philae comet lander.
Photo shows Philae on the surface – with one of its landing legs visible.
Credit: ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

 

 

The last images of Philae sitting on the comet will probably be acquired in the summer of 2016, when the Rosetta spacecraft photographs the lander during ultra-close fly-bys.

The Rosetta orbiter itself will be “landed” on the comet in September 2016, closing out its mission.

 

 

For an informative video on Philae’s landing, go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YIFlHqGqh4

 

Dump pile photo from Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager, taken on February 12, 2016, Sol 1251. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Dump pile photo from Curiosity Mars Hand Lens Imager, taken on February 12, 2016, Sol 1251.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

 

The Curiosity rover on Mars is deep into Sol 1252 today.

Ken Herkenhoff at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center reports that the rover’s samples of dune sand were deposited onto the surface, “but it appears that the sample was partly blown by the wind.” There is enough sample left to investigate with various rover instruments, he adds.

Looking ahead, the Curiosity Sol 1253 plan begins with Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) passive spectra observations, as well as Mastcam multispectral observations of the dump piles and a recently brushed spot on Mars, Herkenhoff reports.

Sieved, unsieved sand

Later that sol, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) is slated to take pictures of the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) calibration target and both dump piles prior to the APXS is placed on the pile of sieved sand for appraisal.

Curiosity Navcam Left B image, taken on Sol 1251, February 12, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Curiosity Navcam Left B image, taken on Sol 1251, February 12, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The APXS measures the abundance of chemical elements in rocks and soils.

After sunset, Herkenhoff says that the APXS will be moved to a bedrock target named “Bergsig” then to the pile of unsieved sand for a long, overnight stint of data gathering.

Surface frost

The rover is scheduled to wake up before dawn on Sol 1254 for an attempt to detect surface frost using ChemCam.

“This is the best time of year for water frost to form, so we’re hoping that ChemCam will see the hydrogen in the water,” Herkenhoff notes.

Later that sol, ChemCam and Mastcam will observe the unsieved dump pile and the brushed spot, this time using ChemCam’s laser to measure chemical composition.

“Mastcam will also image the frost target, the sun, and the distant crater rim to measure the amount of dust in the atmosphere,” says Herkenhoff. Then MAHLI will image Bersig, the sieved dump pile to look for the imprint of APXS’s contact sensor, and the brushed spot.

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo, snapped on Sol 1251, February 12, 2016. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

Curiosity ChemCam Remote Micro-Imager photo, snapped on Sol 1251, February 12, 2016.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/LANL

 

Overnight, the robot’s Chemistry & Mineralogy X-Ray Diffraction/X-Ray Fluorescence Instrument (CheMin) is scheduled to analyze the dune sand again, to improve the accuracy of the mineralogical measurement.

 

Drive northward

On Sol 1255, Herkenhoff says that the rover planning calls for the machinery to drive toward the north, to get around the sand dune to the west of the vehicle. In addition to the usual post-drive imaging, the Navcam will take a couple images of Mount Sharp to enable planning of future long-distance imaging.

Overall, it’s another full plan for using Curiosity that has kept the tactical team busy, Herkenhoff concludes.

At the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, a specialist from Airbus Defense and Space (Aquitaine) places an insulation tile on the exterior of Schiaparelli, the ExoMars entry, descent, and landing demonstrator module. Credit: ESA - B. Bethge

At the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, a specialist from Airbus Defense and Space (Aquitaine) places an insulation tile on the exterior of Schiaparelli, the ExoMars entry, descent, and landing demonstrator module.
Credit: ESA – B. Bethge

 

Progress is being made on readying for liftoff next month of the European Space Agency’s 2016 ExoMars mission/

That mission to be launched via a Proton booster includes a Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and an Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM).

Schiaparelli is the name of that entry, descent and landing demonstrator module.

 

Finishing touches

ESA reports that the finishing touches are being made to the protective heat shield of Schiaparelli before it is joined to the Trace Gas Orbiter.

Given a successful launch in Mars, Schiaparelli will plunge through the Martian atmosphere in October of this year and experience very high temperatures.

The entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, Schiaparelli, is part of ESA’s ExoMars 2016 mission. Schiaparelli is shown in its surface configuration after descent through the Martian atmosphere. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

The entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, Schiaparelli, is part of ESA’s ExoMars 2016 mission. Schiaparelli is shown in its surface configuration after descent through the Martian atmosphere.
Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

 

 

Tile work

For most of the descent, a front heat shield and a rear cover will protect the module.

The front shield is a carbon sandwich structure covered with 90 insulating tiles. These tiles are made of Norcoat Liège, a thermal ablative material composed of resin and cork.

A team of specialists from Airbus Defense and Space (Aquitaine), who arrived in Baikonur last week, are now busy placing and sealing the last of the tiles on Schiaparelli’s heat shield and rear cover.

The Schiaparelli surface payload, based on the proposed DREAMS (Dust Characterisation, Risk Assessment, and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) package, consists of a suite of sensors to measure the wind speed and direction (MetWind), humidity (DREAMS-H), pressure (DREAMS-P), atmospheric temperature close to the surface (MarsTem), the transparency of the atmosphere (Solar Irradiance Sensor, SIS), and atmospheric electrification (Atmospheric Radiation and Electricity Sensor; MicroARES). Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

The Schiaparelli surface payload, based on the proposed DREAMS (Dust Characterisation, Risk Assessment, and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) package, consists of a suite of sensors to measure the wind speed and direction (MetWind), humidity (DREAMS-H), pressure (DREAMS-P), atmospheric temperature close to the surface (MarsTem), the transparency of the atmosphere (Solar Irradiance Sensor, SIS), and atmospheric electrification (Atmospheric Radiation and Electricity Sensor; MicroARES).
Credit: ESA/ATG medialab

The final launch preparation activities for Schiaparelli are drawing to a close.

Credit: NASA/Langley Research Center

Credit: NASA/Langley Research Center

Under the space radar screen is “Homesteading in Space – Inspiring the Nation through Science Fiction.”

Today at the California NanoSystems Institute/ UCLA in Los Angeles, California, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) co-sponsored a look at humanity’s space future.

Sci-fi/fact

Roughly 70 space scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, along with story-tellers, artists, directors, and producers met to show their interest in science fiction and space exploration with a view toward future “homesteading” in space.

Other co-sponsors were the National Academy of Sciences, Science & Entertainment Exchange, and the Museum of Science Fiction.

The California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) is an integrated research facility with locations at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. Its mission is to encourage university collaboration with industry and to enable the rapid commercialization of discoveries in nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Heady gathering

The intent of the heady gathering was to gather stories that will energize the public, inspire children to pursue Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) careers.

But a key add-on: help make science fiction become science fact.

Interactive discussions were held, each focused on specific areas of future science and technology related to how we can travel to and live on Mars and ultimately beyond.

Also on tap is how to include the future technologies needed to “homestead” in space.

What's the view into the future? Credit: NASA

What’s the view into the future?
Credit: NASA

Technology topics

Technical experts were divided between the following five future technology topics:

Exploring Space: How will we leave the earth and travel to other planets?

Prospecting:  How will we find and collect chemicals and minerals from asteroids and other planets?

Manufacturing:  How will we make the materials and manufacture the things we need to build a community on another planet?

Bioengineering:  How will we use biotechnology, including synthetic biology, to create food, fuel, and useful chemicals using engineered bacteria and plant life?

World Building:  How will we not only survive but thrive in space, creating communities and maintaining our physical and mental health?

White House role

Making use of all media — novels, short stories, design fiction, new media, video, film, TV, VR, gaming, etc. – the gathering was focused on using science fiction to express positive, entertaining views of a future “homesteading” in space.

Credit: OSTP

Credit: OSTP

The White House OSTP role was to ascertain what steps the government and the private sector can take to:

— further inform the creative community about a positive vision of a future in space; and

— encourage people to incorporate this vision into entertaining stories that will excite the public, energize entrepreneurs, and motivate inspire children.

Incoming! Who ya going to call? A Planetary Impact Emergency Response Working Group (PIERWG) Charter has been developed. Credit: NASA

Incoming! Who ya going to call?
A Planetary Impact Emergency Response Working Group (PIERWG) Charter has been developed.
Credit: NASA

 

 

A partnership between the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and NASA is in place “to develop guidance to prepare for any potential impact of our planet by a large natural object.”

A Planetary Impact Emergency Response Working Group (PIERWG) Charter was signed in August 2015 and is now available for public viewing here at:

http://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/signed_pierwg_charter_10212015.pdf

Unique threat

The Charter notes that “the risks are inherently unique and there are currently no national policy covering this particular threat.”

Spelled out in the Charter is the framework for the structure and processes of an interagency team focused on preparation for a predicted or actual impact of an asteroid or comet that could affect the United States or its territories.

The Charter details the roles, responsibilities, and membership of the PIERWG.

Coordinating agencies

The objective of the PIERWG provides a forum for affected U.S. Departments and Agencies to develop the essential information and recommendations needed by senior leadership to make informed decisions to respond to the “unique challenges” of an impending NEO impact.

fema_logo

PIERWG coordinating agencies include the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Homeland Security-Science and Technology, as well as Department of Defense, and the Department of State’s Office of Space and Advanced Technology.

Approving the document is Damon Penn, Assistant Administrator of the Response Directorate of FEMA and NASA’s James Green, Director of the Planetary Science Division.

New NASA office

In early January, NASA announced the establishment of a Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) created to coordinate U.S. agencies and intergovernmental efforts to respond to future near-Earth objects that threaten Earth.

Nasa_Logo

For details of NASA’s new office, go to:

NASA’s New Planetary Defense Office Gets to Work Protecting Earth

http://www.space.com/31770-nasa-planetary-defense-office-asteroid-threat.html

Griffith Observatory Event