An asteroid impact exercise will be held at the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in which FEMA, NASA and other world partners will be participating. NASA’s planetary defense officer, Lindley Johnson said that this exercise has helped them in understanding what their colleagues needed to know on the disaster management and has also helped them develop effective communication among them.
The discovery of a fictional asteroid will be briefed to the participants in the exercise which has a chance of one in hundred of impacting the Earth in the year 2027. Potential strategies which include deflection strategies will also be discussed by the participants. Mitigation efforts for the potential impact of the asteroid will also be planned by the participants. NASA has become a part of six impact exercises before and three of them were with FEMA.
The chief of Response Operations Division of FEMA, Leviticus Lewis said that emergency managers want to know about how, when and where would be the impact of the asteroid and also about the extent and type of damage that could be caused. The Office of Science and Technology Policy, NASA, FEMA and other agencies had come together for The National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan. It discussed mainly about the methods that can be employed by the government to improve their capability to predict, detect, plan and then respond to the impact created by a near-Earth object. NASA is working on developing powerful telescopes as well as on improved algorithms which can aid them in detecting trajectories of hazardous near-Earth objects. They have also been working on developing models for the simulation of different impact scenarios.
NASA will be getting a chance to demonstrate their NEO impact efforts in the exercise to be conducted next week. Johnson said that FEMA and NASA will be continuing to work together in conducting frequent exercises and this in turn helps them to work side by side and learn to meet their objectives and needs that has been given in the White House National NEO Preparedness action plan.