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Space Shield


Assessment of Feasibility of Creating a System for Earth Protection Against Impacts of Near-Earth Space Objects

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-OTH/Other/Environment
  • SAT-SAF/Space Safety/Space, Aircraft and Surface Transportation

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk


  • Los-Alamos National Laboratory, USA, NM, Los-Alamos\nSandia National Laboratories, USA, NM, Albuquerque\nUniversity of Arizona, USA, AZ, Tucson

Project summary

The purpose of the project is to study possible outline, feasibility and approaches to creation of the system or its components for protection of the Earth against the threat of impact with asteroids and comets which might have the orbits crossing the orbit of the Earth.

In the very accordance with the objectives and purposes of the ISTC, the project will provide the opportunity to the specialists from Russia and Georgia, the main part of which possesses knowledge and skills related to development of nuclear weapons and rocket delivery means, to reorient their creative abilities and talents for research of ways to solve one of the inevitable global problem faced by humankind to prevent possible impact of the Earth with dangerous space Near-Earth Objects (NEO).

This unique problem belongs to the set of the most important problems faced by humankind, such as global environment aggravation, future limitation of energy production, global material resources exhaustion, global growth of population. All these problems are deeply interconnected in their essence. The people ought to find the solution for each of them to secure their future existence. That is why for the time being the progressive nations are devoted to increasing attention and growing resources to study their solutions. This process will be just enforced in future. The works under the project flow namely into the bed of solving these great problems.

The following specific works are planned to fulfill according the Project:

* analysis, categorization, and development of modern data on forecasting the threat of possible impacts on the Earth of NEOs;

* observation and account of opportunities for various methods of NEO survey to provide essential increase of NEO's detection data; estimation and comparison of alternative or mutually complementary ways for development of oncoming detection, surveillance and tracking technologies;

* review of various scenarios for possible approach of different types of NEO's to the Earth to provide more definite forecast and more reliable description of possible collisions with these objects, taking into account variations of impact velocity, angles of approach, properties of impact bodies and target (continents, oceans) etc.;

* analysis of published physical models and development of new ones and mathematical codes for various types of NEO impact with the Earth; application of existing and developed models and codes for modeling specific impact phenomena;

* estimation of potential opportunities and possible regimes of applications for different means of action upon NEO's (kinetic projectiles, high explosives, nuclear explosives etc.) basing on the present and near-future technologies; general recommendations to the choice of means of action for different threat mitigation scenarios; to provide this scope of works the following activity are planned:

** compilation and analysis of data on NEO's matter properties on the base of astronomical observations including receiving of original data by Georgian astronomers;

** analysis of laboratory capabilities of NEO matter properties study on composition, shock compression and subsequent rarefaction, dynamic and strength properties using the samples of meteorites as representative of space object matter;

** use of existing models and codes and development of new ones for description of properties for NEO's matters and design materials essential for action upon NEO;

** wide use and development of physical models and mathematical codes for description of action upon NEO of various types of means (kinetic projectiles, high explosives, nuclear explosives etc.) for different regimes;

* estimation of necessity, feasibility and specific tasks for space missions to NEO's with final goal to study general properties of the object as a whole and properties of its constituent substances by means of close approach (flyby or rendezvous, landing, sampling and fly back);

* analysis of capabilities and assessment of rocket-transporting technologies to put into the space the ships with exploratory equipment and means of action;

* study of various space navigation scenarios for exploratory and interception missions, analysis of contemporary and near-future opportunities for transport of the equipment and devices to asteroids or comets;

* preliminary study of different scenarios for results of action upon the NEO (deflection, fragmentation, shattering); aspects of tracking of deflected object and fragments; space environmental problems, especially for nuclear means application;

* social, political and educational aspects for NEO threat and its mitigation;

* possible conceptual outline for total system of Space Protection of the Earth (SPE) and approaches recommended to the research and development of its key components.

It will be received as a result of the works under the project more comprehensive understanding of the space collision threat for the Earth and contemporary opportunities for creation of the SPE components and the system as a whole on the base of modern and near-future knowledge and technologies. It will be prepared additional recomendations for observational programs, experimental research, theoretical studies, and technological development for future SPE systems. It will be proposed possible outline for the SPE system as a whole and recommended possible approach to its development.

Main part of the works under the project will consist of theoretical research and mathematical simulations on the base of existed and newly created physical models and mathematical codes. Significant efforts would be aimed for their development. Essential part will constitute the outline design works, in particular to define the appearance of the SPE system and its components. For separate directions (e.g., space dust observations, shock wave compression, meteorite matter properties study) it is planned to conduct some experimental research with the help of existed experimental equipment and methods.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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