Preparing for the Next Disruption: Asteroid Detection is a Good Start

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September 23, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic taught us valuable lessons in hard-to-believe scenarios. What if it were an asteroid impact instead?


The turn of the decade brought hope for a promising future and human advancement. Then a global pandemic happened and suddenly we had a different goal: to survive. Had we known 2020 would bring hard times, we could have mentally and physically prepared for the long haul. What if Earth was threatened by a large asteroid? How would we respond? 

According to B612 President Danica Remy, we are creating a key plan-of-action. In a recent Salon article, Remy told interviewers “we are investing in tools and developing the technology to help predict, interpret, and understand the future through our core projects including the Asteroid Discovery Analysis and Mapping (ADAM) platform.” This platform will provide the foundation for future economic development in space as it enables scientific studies and is used for planetary defense.

Dr. Ed Lu is Executive Director of Asteroid Institute, a program of B612. Lu and Remy spoke with Salon magazine about the urgency of asteroid detection. Dr. Lu explained that we do not have data on “most of the asteroids in our solar system that could do great damage should they hit the Earth. Those asteroids are large enough to destroy a city, but roughly 99% are untracked.” Asteroid Institute is facing the inevitability of an asteroid heading toward Earth by developing tools for asteroid discovery.

Asteroid Institute

According to former astronaut Dr. Ed Lu, only one percent of asteroids traveling close to Earth have been identified. Photo credit: NASA Goddard and University of Arizona


COVID-19 taught us we are not invincible. With early detection, we can prepare for asteroids before they surprise us. As seen in the Salon article and in recent reporting by Scientific American, our perspective is shared within the asteroid community.


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