NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Long-range consequences of interplanetary collisionsAs Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 races toward its mid-July collision with the planet Jupiter, considerable public attention is focused on catastrophic impacts with the Earth -- in the past and in the future. In recent years calls have been made to develop technologies that could deflect any asteroid or comet on a collision course. Careful consideration must be given to the nature and time scale of the risk and to the cost-effectiveness and possible problems in the suggested solutions. Risk assessment, threat removal, and resources misuse are examined. The greatest concern is to have a poorly informed public -- exerting pressure for means to mitigate even non-existent threats. The only foreseeable solution is a combination of accurate orbit estimation, realistic threat assessment, and effective public education.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Sagan, Carl (Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Ostro, Steven J. (Jet Propulsion Lab. California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Issues in Science and Technology
Volume: 10
Issue: 4
ISSN: 0748-5492
Subject Category
Distribution Limits