First International Asteroid Tracking Exercise

First International Asteroid Tracking Exercise.

NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) is managed by the Planetary Science Division of the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. The PDCO is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) – asteroids and comets whose orbits are predicted to bring them within 0.05 Astronomical Units of Earth; and of a size large enough to reach Earth’s surface – that is, greater than approximately 30 to 50 meters;
  • Tracking and characterizing PHOs and issuing warnings about potential impacts;
  • Providing timely and accurate communications about PHOs; and
  • Leading the coordination of U.S. Government planning for response to an actual impact threat.

The PDCO relies on data from projects supported by NASA’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) Observations Programme.

The IAWN is an organization of asteroid observers, orbit computers, physical property specialists, radar astronomers, and other scientists and communication experts that study asteroids, specifically near-Earth objects or NEOs. The IAWN is a United Nations-sanctioned organization.

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