Mon, Apr 12 | Location is TBD

FWGS April 2021 Virtual Luncheon

Special Guest Speaker: Dr. Paul Abell, Chief Scientist for Small Body Exploration

Time & Location

Apr 12, 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM CDT
Location is TBD

Event Details

Time: 11:30 am Virtual Social Icebreaker, Noon Speaker Presentation

Speakers: Dr. Paul Abell, NASA

Title: Small Object Collision Avoidance

Abstract: This presentation will briefly cover the background of potentially hazardous objects and describe the first planetary defense spacecraft missions that are scheduled to launch this decade.  An update will be given describing  NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission and the European Space Agency (ESA) Hera mission that will both launch to the Didymos  binary near-Earth asteroid system.  DART will impact the smaller secondary asteroid (called Dimorphos) at 6 km/s and Hera will arrive later to rendezvous and characterize both Didymos and Dimorphos.

Bio: Paul Abell is the Chief Scientist for Small Body Exploration in the Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science Division at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. His main areas of interest are physical characterization of near-Earth objects (NEOs) via ground-based and spacecraft observations, examination of NEOs for future robotic and human exploration, mitigation of potentially hazardous asteroids and comets, and identification of potential resources within the NEO population for future in situ utilization.

He was a science team member on the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) Hayabusa near-Earth asteroid sample-return mission and participated in the successful recovery of the spacecraft‘s sample return capsule, which returned to Woomera, Australia in June 2010. Paul is currently a team member of the Hayabusa2 mission and is aiding the cooperation between Hayabusa2 and NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft teams as they investigate and sample their respective near-Earth asteroids.

Since 2006 Paul has been a member of an internal NASA team that has been examining the possibility of sending astronauts to NEOs for human missions. He is also an investigation team member on both NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) and Near-Earth Object Surveyor Mission (NEOSM) planetary defense missions, and a team member on ESA’s Hera planetary defense mission. Asteroid 8139 (1980 UM1) is named Paulabell in recognition of Paul's contributions to NEO research and exploration studies.

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