Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 – 23 September 2022
Europlanet Science Congress 2022
Palacio de Congresos de Granada, Spain
18 September – 23 September 2022
EPSC Abstracts
Vol. 16, EPSC2022-1271, 2022
Europlanet Science Congress 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Latest Update on NASA’s Planetary Defense Program

Doris Daou, Lindley Johnson, and Kelly Fast
Doris Daou et al.
  • NASA - Headquarters, Planetary Science Division, United States

NASA and its partners maintain a watch for near-Earth objects (NEOs), asteroids and comets that pass within Earth’s vicinity, as part of an ongoing effort to discover, catalog, and characterize these bodies and to determine if any pose an impact threat. NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO) is responsible for:

  • Ensuring the early detection of potentially hazardous objects (PHOs) – asteroids and comets whose orbits are predicted to bring them within 0.05 astronomical units of Earth's orbit; and of a size large enough to reach Earth’s surface – that is, greater than perhaps 30 to 50 meters;
  • Tracking and characterizing PHOs and issuing warnings about potential impacts;
  • Providing timely and accurate communications about PHOs; and
  • Performing as a lead coordination node in U.S. Government planning for response to an actual impact threat.


NASA’s current congressionally-mandated objective is to detect, track, and catalogue at least 90 percent of NEOs equal to or greater than 140 meters in size by 2020, and characterize the physical properties of a subset representative of the entire population. This mandate will likely not be met given current resources dedicated to the task; however significant progress is being made.

In this paper, we will report on the status of our program and the missions working to support our planetary defense coordination office. In addition, we will provide the latest detections and characterizations results. Our office continues to work diligently with our international partners to achieve our goals and continue to safeguard Earth with the latest technologies available.

How to cite: Daou, D., Johnson, L., and Fast, K.: Latest Update on NASA’s Planetary Defense Program, Europlanet Science Congress 2022, Granada, Spain, 18–23 Sep 2022, EPSC2022-1271,, 2022.


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