[ExI] [SALT] Taming asteroids next TUESDAY June 18 (for forwarding)

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Wed Jun 12 18:48:38 UTC 2013

----- Forwarded message from Stewart Brand <sb at longnow.org> -----

Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2013 11:04:43 -0700
From: Stewart Brand <sb at longnow.org>
To: SALT list <salt at list.longnow.org>
Subject: [SALT] Taming asteroids next TUESDAY June 18 (for forwarding)
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In the long now, the greatest threat to life on Earth, or (more frequently) to civilization, or (still more frequently) to cities, is asteroid impact. The threat can be eliminated permanently with existing technology, at modest cost, considering.

Former NASA astronaut Ed Lu is CEO and Chairman of the B612 Foundation, which, in partnership with Ball Aerospace is building an asteroid-detection system called Sentinel, aiming for launch in 2018.  Lu is also the co-inventor of the “gravity tractor” -- one of the several techniques that can be used to nudge threatening asteroids out their collision paths with Earth.

Asteroid threat is an attention-span problem blended with a delayed-gratification problem---exactly the kind of thing that Long Now was set up to help with. Taking the extreme danger of asteroids seriously requires thinking at century and millennium scale. Dealing with the threat requires programs that span decades, because asteroids can only be deflected if they are found and dealt with many years before their potential impact. That’s what B612’s Sentinel is designed to do.

This is activist astronomy...

"Anthropocene Astronomy: Thwarting Dangerous Asteroids Begins with Finding Them," Ed Lu, Marines' Memorial Theater, Union Square, San Francisco, 7pm, Tuesday June 18.  The show starts promptly at 7:30pm.

To be sure of a seat:
• Long Now Members can use the discount code on the Lu Seminar page to reserve 2 free seats.
• You can purchase tickets for $15 each.
• Tune into the live audio stream for Long Now Members at 7:30 PST - become a member for just $8 a month.
Share this talk: Ed Lu, "Anthropocene Astronomy: Thwarting Dangerous Asteroids Begins with Finding Them" Long Now talk on 6/18 http://goo.gl/DCJ6D

Talks coming up:
July 29 (Mon.) - Craig Childs, “Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth”
Aug. 13 (Tue.) - Daniel Kahneman, "Thinking Fast and Slow"

High-quality videos of the talks and other benefits (such as priority tickets) are available to Long now members.  Membership, which starts at $8/month ($96/year), helps support the series and other Long Now projects.  Joinable here.

This is one of a monthly series of Seminars About Long-term Thinking (SALT) organized by The Long Now Foundation.  Free audio and my summaries of all previous talks are available for download here (or stay up to date with the podcast here).  You'll find a range of long-term thinking items on our Blog (RSS).  If you would like to be notified by email (like this one) of forthcoming talks, go here to sign up online.  Any questions, contact Danielle Engelman at Long Now -- 415-561-6582 x1 or danielle at longnow.org.

You are welcome to forward this notice to anyone you think might be interested.

 --Stewart Brand

Stewart Brand -- sb at longnow.org
The Long Now Foundation -- http://longnow.org/
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