Hand over hand contact with asteroids - part of our future? Credit: NASA

Hand over hand contact with asteroids – part of our future?
Credit: NASA

Can we protect Earth from potentially hazardous impacts? What do we do if we find an asteroid that threatens Earth?

How about harvesting asteroids for potential economic benefits?

These kind of provocative questions deserve public participation…and now you can take part in the dialogue.

Innovative project

Thanks to an innovative project between NASA and a group led by Arizona State University called ECAST — Expert and Citizen Assessment of Science and Technology — citizens can have their say in decisions about the future of space exploration.

ECAST will hold forums this fall to engage citizens in active dialogue about NASA’s Asteroid Initiative.

Discussion will cover topics from how to detect threatening asteroids and how to defend against them to strategies for human exploration of asteroids and the space beyond the moon.

 

Numbers of studies have been completed, flagging the issues of hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs). Credit: NRC

Numbers of studies have been completed, flagging the issues of hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs).
Credit: NRC

Citizen forums

The citizen forums will engage diverse publics in respectful, reflective and informed conversations, both face-to-face and online.

The goal is to enable participants to learn about such issues, develop their own questions, and make recommendations based on their own values and interests.

Two forums titled “Informing NASA’s Asteroid Initiative: A Citizen Forum” are on tap:

— Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, November 8, 2014, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

— Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday, November 15, 2014, from 9 a.m. until 5p.m.

Don’t live in Boston or Phoenix? Anyone age 18 or above can register to participate online.

For more information on the forums, go to:

http://ecastonline.org/

 

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