Planetary Defense Coordination Office

The Planetary Defense Coordination Office is a planetary defense organization within NASA's Planetary Science Division. Its mission is to lead the coordination of interagency and intergovernmental efforts to plan responses to potential impact threats.[1] Announced by NASA in January 2016, it is given the job of cataloging and tracking potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEO), such as asteroids and comets, which are larger than 30 to 50 m in diameter (compare to the 20-m Chelyabinsk meteor) and coordinating an effective threat response and mitigation effort.[2][3]

There are two basic types of objects of concern, near-Earth objects and potentially hazardous objects (PHAs). NASA, in cooperation with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), has worked, various, impact-threat scenarios, in order to learn the best approach to the threat of an incoming impactor. The office will continue to use the polar orbiting infrared telescope NEOWISE to detect any potentially hazardous object.[4]

Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), a joint project between NASA and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, is the first planetary defense mission of NASA.[5]

Since 2016, this office has been headed by Lindley Johnson as NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer and Program Executive of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO).[1][6][7]

See also


  1. ^ a b David, Leonard (January 11, 2016). "NASA creates office to coordinate protection against asteroids". Christian Science Monitor.
  2. ^ "Planetary Defense Coordination Office". NASA. December 22, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2016. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. ^ Templeton, Graham (January 12, 2016). "NASA is opening a new office for planetary defense". ExtremeTech. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  4. ^ Laguipo, Angela (January 16, 2016). "This Is How NASA's Planetary Defense Office Will Protect Planet Earth From Asteroid Collisions". Tech Times. Retrieved January 18, 2016.
  5. ^ "Double Asteroid Redirection Test". Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Retrieved February 18, 2021. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  6. ^ "PDCO Organization". NASA. February 12, 2019.
  7. ^ David, Leonard (January 5, 2021). "Defending Earth against dangerous asteroids: Q&A with NASA's Lindley Johnson".

External links