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Vol 25 No 2 Feb/March 2020

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Planetary Defense: Global Collaboration for Defending Earth from Asteroids and Comets

Edited by: Nikola Schmidt

ISBN13: 9783030009991
Published: January 2019
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Country of Publication: Switzerland
Format: Hardback
Price: £99.99

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Planetary defense from near-Earth objects such as asteroids is a far more nuanced and challenging topic than it might seem. Each day, technology is making it easier to detect asteroid impact threats in advance, but at present, there is still no easy way to design and implement any form of global defense.

This book examines how various asteroid deflection methods can change global political affairs. The authors believe that the final policy for potential Earth impacts should be based on practical engineering solutions and innovative architectural structures, while at the same time reflecting the most recent political science contributions in ethical security studies and security cosmopolitanism. Their focus is not limited to effective engineering solutions, but rather extends to how such proposals resonate in possible political structures of the future.

Planetary defense cannot be achieved with technology alone; the chapters in this volume highlight the issues that arise when space science and technology intersect with political science. This complex interdisciplinary project not only demands global participation and collaboration, but also proposes the way we can achieve it. The authors explore various concepts of governance and their far-reaching implications for planetary defense and vice versa—how scientific progress in Solar System observations and asteroid collision engineering influence political science and put pressure on the international legal framework.

The text is intentionally written for a diverse scholarly and diplomatic audience in a style accessible to non-specialists and practitioners and can be read by those across diverse disciplinary backgrounds.

Air and Space Law
Introduction: Planetary Defense as the Unique Historical Opportunity to Shape Our Shared Destiny - Schmidt, Nikola
The Cosmic Impact Hazard - Morrison, David
What Are NEOs and the Technical Means and Constraints of Solar System Mapping? - Crowe, William
Methods, Means and Governance of NEO Observation - Vereš, Peter (et al.)
Technical Architecture to Deepen Our Solar System Awareness - Vereš, Peter
Vision of Perfect Observation Capabilities - Vereš, Peter
Overview of Active Planetary Defense Methods - Morrison, David
NASA NEO Deflection Application: Current Capabilities and Limitations - Melamed, Nahum
Near-Earth Objects and the United Nations - Kofler, Romana (et al.)
A Consideration of a National Approach: The US Planetary Impact Emergency Response Working Group (PIERWG); A Joint Effort Between NASA and FEMA - Lewis, Leviticus A.
Evolution of Security Studies and the Resulting Perspectives of an Asteroid Threat - Schmidt, Nikola
Asteroid Impact Risk Assessment: Rationalizing the Threat - Rumpf, Clemens M.
Uncertainty and Risk at the Catastrophe Threshold - Boslough, Mark
Conceptualizing the Asteroid Threat and Searching for a Balanced Answer Between Effectiveness and Desirability - Schmidt, Nikola
Weapons of Mass Protection? Rogue Asteroids, Nuclear Explosions in Space, and the Norms of Global Nuclear Order - Smetana, Michal
Dilemmas for Planetary Defense Posed by the Current International Law Framework - Schmidt, Nikola (et al.)
'No Conscience of Its Own': The Need for Global Space Ethics Review - Kendal, Evie
The Conundrum of Commercial Space - Utrilla, Carlos Manuel Entrena
The Overview Effect and Planetary Defense - White, Frank
Cosmopolitan Rationale for Planetary Defense - Schmidt, Nikola
Dawn of Cosmopolitan Order? The New Norm of Responsibility to Defend Earth and the Planetary Council - Schmidt, Nikola (et al.)
Global Space Governance and Planetary Defense Mechanisms - Pelton, Joseph N.
New Enemy, Old Pact? Past Defense Pacts and Future Planetary Defense Treaty - Bruner, Tomáš
Why a World State Is Unavoidable in Planetary Defense: On Loopholes in the Vision of a Cosmopolitan Governance - Dufek, Pavel
The Moon Base as a Commercial Hub - Utrilla, Carlos Manuel Entrena
The Multipurpose Lunar Base as a First-Line Biosphere Defense and as a Gateway to the Universe - Schmidt, Nikola (et al.)
Will Planetary Defense Change a Realist World? - Wirtz, James J.