Asteroids As Told By Astronauts, Experts And A Rock Star – 30 June

LUXEMBOURG, June 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Asteroid Foundation’s annual Asteroid Day LIVE programme premiers Wednesday 30 June 2021 at 18:00 CET. With the help of leading experts, Asteroid Day Co-founder Dr. Brian May and the most engaging voices in science communications from around the world, the five hour programme will bring the solar system’s smallest worlds to vivid life for audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

This year, Asteroid Day LIVE celebrates the 25th launch anniversary of NASA’s NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft, and the 2021 launch of three new asteroid missions, NASA’s Lucy, NEA Scout and DART – the world’s first mission to test an asteroid deflection technique – and much more.

There can be no mistake, interest in asteroids has never been greater. In the next three years alone, five new asteroid missions will be launched by NASA and ESA. Asteroid Day LIVE will explore this explosion of interest across five hours of new content that will answer everything from the most fundamental questions a beginner may have about asteroids, to the questions that tantalise the world’s leading researchers.

Asteroid Day LIVE 2021 is split into four distinct segments. The first will explore the titanic task of discovering and tracking the millions of asteroids that circle the Sun; the second will discuss the scientific work that allows us to investigate the true – and often surprising – nature of the asteroids. Segment three is dedicated to the rapid advances that are being made in how to defend our planet from potentially hazardous asteroids; and the final segment looks to the exciting role asteroids may play in the future exploration of space, and the creation of an ‘in space’ economy.

The programme focuses on telling the remarkable stories of asteroids and the people that research them. The show is moderated by leaders of the field, such as Mary Lynne Dittmar of Axiom Space, and expert science communicators such as astronaut Tom Jones and Lucie Green from University College London.

Anchored by RTL presenter Lisa Burke from Luxembourg’s Broadcasting Centre Europe, 2021’s Asteroid Day LIVE features a "Who’s Who?" of people involved in asteroid research. Programme highlights include:

  • Asteroid Day’s co-founder, and Queen guitarist, Brian May talking about his work making stereoscopic "3D" images to give researchers better views of their asteroid targets;
  • One of the principal architects of modern asteroid research, Andrew Cheng of Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, discussing the astonishing discoveries made by the NEAR-Shoemaker mission and the groundbreaking work that NASA’s DART mission will undertake;
  • Naomi Murdoch from ISAE-SUPAERO, Toulouse, France, tells us how landing on an asteroid could be more like a splashdown than a touchdown;
  • University of Arizona’s Dante Lauretta and Makoto Yoshikawa from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency talking about the amazing successes of their space missions to retrieve rock samples from asteroids;
  • And we look to future missions such as NASA’s Psyche and Lucy and ESA’s Hera, with Lindy Elkin-Tanton of Arizona State University, Cathy Olkin of Southwest Research Institute, and Heli Greus of ESA.

Other high profile speakers and moderators this year include Pedro Duque, former ESA astronaut and Spain’s minister of science and innovation; American astronauts Ed Lu and Leland Melvin and cosmonaut Dorin Prunariu; private space traveler Anousheh Ansari; Patrick Michel, director of research at CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) and NEO-MAPP lead; Ruy Pinto, Chief Technology Officer of SES; Franco Ongaro, ESA’s Director of Technology, Engineering and Quality; Bill Nye, ‘the science guy’ and CEO of The Planetary Society; Elena Adams, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s; "Internet Rocket Scientist" Scott Manly; and Asteroid Day’s Editorial Director, Stuart Clark.

The Planetary Society and Asteroid Foundation have co-produced a new video series titled ‘Meet the Asteroids’ that will premiere during Asteroid Day LIVE. Each specially produced video will highlight  a famous asteroid’s unique characteristics and back story. Taken together this series demonstrates the remarkable diversity of asteroids and explains the fascination that now surrounds their study.

And at the heart of it all is the original purpose of Asteroid Day: to raise awareness that one day we will need to deflect an asteroid away from our planet. Through hard work and dedication, the global asteroid community is working to make this possible – and that puts the asteroid hazard in a class of its own, because uniquely among the natural disasters, asteroid impacts are preventable.

"Let’s all keep aware of the significance of Asteroid Day. Asteroids are still out there and we still don’t know all of them, so we need to be circumspect. We need to keep doing the research to safeguard the future of this planet, for our children and our grandchildren. Let’s keep Asteroid Day in mind. I’m very proud to be part of it" says Dr. Brian May

Asteroid Day’s Luxembourg-based partners Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) and SES, the leader in global content connectivity solutions, will make Asteroid Day TV available for millions to tune in via an SES satellite at 19.2 degrees East.

For more details on Asteroid Day LIVE, visit

About Asteroid Day:
Asteroid Day is held on 30 June each year to mark the date of Earth’s largest asteroid impact in recorded history, the Tunguska, Siberia event. Asteroid Day was co-founded by astrophysicist and famed musician Dr Brian May of the rock group Queen; Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart; Filmmaker Grig Richters; and B612 Foundation President Danica Remy, to educate the public about the importance of asteroids in our history, and the role they play in the solar system. In 2016, prompted by the leadership of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), the United Nations declared Asteroid Day to be a global day of education to raise awareness and promote knowledge in the general public about asteroids. Thousands of independently-organised events have taken place around the globe, encompassing 125 of the world’s 195 countries.

Asteroid Day is been made possible thanks to partnerships with the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE), B612 Foundation, the European Space Agency (ESA), OHB Systems, Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce, Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), The Planetary Society, SES and Twitch. Asteroid Day, Asteroid Day LIVE, Asteroid Day TV and SpaceConnectsUs are all programmes of Asteroid Foundation, a Luxembourg based non-profit.

Join in the Asteroid Day conversation on Social Media!

A Media Kit including quotes, photos, video and B-Roll video is available in the Asteroid Day Newsroom. Photos from previous Asteroid Day events in Luxembourg are available on Flickr.

Asteroid Day TV – SES Broadcast Connection Details:

Europe/Middle East
Service Name: Asteroid Day 2021 HD
Service ID: 5711
Transponder: 1.068
Satellite: Astra 1M
Orbital Pos: 19.2 East
Downlink Frequency: 11778.00 MHz
Polarization: Vertical
Modulation: DVB-S2 QPSK
FEC: 9/10
SR: 29.5 MSym/s

About Asteroid Foundation:
Asteroid Foundation was formed in 2017 with a mission to promote worldwide awareness of asteroid opportunities and challenges, and the emerging space economy. The Asteroid Foundation undertakes programmes and activities to support scientists, engineers and students around the world providing free educational tools, newsletters, original articles and resources year round. Annually, the Foundation organizes events surrounding International Asteroid Day, a United Nations recognized day of education and awareness observed on 30 June. Visit their Flickr account to see pictures from previous events.

About Association of Space Explorers
Founded in 1985, the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) is an international nonprofit 510c3 professional and educational organization of more than 400 flown astronauts and cosmonauts from 38 nations. ASE’s Committee on Near Earth Objects (NEO), chaired by astronaut Tom Jones, works to promote global awareness of the asteroid impact threat. ASE delivers subject matter expertise and the astronaut perspective on key topics related to  NEOs, including developments in planetary defense, advancements in NEO discovery and characterization, and impactor mitigation campaign design. ASE NEO Committee members also support the bi-annual IAA Planetary Defence Conference and the annual Asteroid Day event in Luxembourg.

About B612 Foundation
B612 is dedicated to protecting Earth from asteroid impacts. It does this by driving forward science and technologies needed to protect the Earth from asteroid impacts through the Asteroid Institute. It educates the public, the scientific community, and world governments about asteroids through programs such as Asteroid Day. Since the organization’s inception in 2002, its work has been carried out entirely through the support of private donors.  What started in 2002 as a visionary idea to develop the technology to deflect an asteroid has grown into a world-renowned organization and scientific institute with a key role in the emerging field of planetary defense.

About Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE)
Broadcasting Center Europe (BCE) is a European leader in media services, system integration and software development in the areas of television, online video, streaming, radio, production and postproduction, telecommunication and IT. With its extensive experience on the media market, our team provides high-quality services and will always find the solution that matches your project and budget. With more than 200 highly qualified and motivated people, BCE serves about 400 clients in various sectors, such as TV channels, radio stations, film distributors, producers, advertising companies, sports federations, fashion, events, institutions and telecommunications operators.

About the European Space Agency (ESA)
The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA has 22 Member States. ESA’s programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes as well as with Eumetsat for the development of meteorological missions..

About Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce
The main role of the Chamber of Commerce is to protect and promote the interests of businesses and the economy of Luxembourg. To enable it to fulfil this mandate, it has been granted the status of a public establishment, which comes with some significant prerogatives. Since membership of professional businesses is mandatory in Luxembourg, the Chamber of Commerce has high rates of affiliation, with 90,000 member companies, corresponding to 75% of the country’s total salaried employment and 80% of Luxembourg’s GDP, making it the biggest employers’ group in the country. It represents all businesses in Luxembourg except those in the artisanal and agricultural sectors.
The Chamber of Commerce implements projects and infrastructures for sustainable and prosperous economic development and therefore consists of several entities, such as:
House of Entrepreneurship
Launched in 2016 by the Chamber of Commerce and the Ministry of the Economy as a single point of contact for existing and new entrepreneurs, the House of Entrepreneurship offers a wide range of services.
House of Startups
Innovation hubs, incubators, business accelerators and startup consulting services are all under one roof at the House of Startups (HoST), launched by the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce in 2018. Several major hubs are already in place: the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT), the newly created Luxembourg-City Incubator (LCI), initiated by the Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the City of Luxembourg, Groupe Crédit Agricole’s international incubator, and the International Climate Finance Accelerator (ICFA).
House of Training
Launched in 2015 by the Chamber of Commerce and the Luxembourg Bankers’ Association (ABBL), the House of Training trains thousands of people in a variety of fields such as banking and finance, entrepreneurship and management, law, industry marketing, human resources and many more.

About Luxembourg Space Agency
Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) develops the space sector in Luxembourg by fostering new and existing companies, developing human resources, facilitating access to funding and supporting academic research. The agency implements the national space economic development strategy, manages national space research and development programs and leads the initiative. Furthermore, the LSA represents Luxembourg within the European Space Agency and space-related programs of the European Union and the United Nations.

About OHB Systems
OHB Systems is a European multinational technology corporation, headquartered in Bremen, Germany. They are and have been one of the leading companies in Europe’s space sector for the past 35 years, particularly in their core business comprising low-orbiting and geostationary satellites. They have been developing and executing some of the key projects of our times such as the Galileo navigation satellites, the SARah reconnaissance system, the MTG meteorological satellites, the EnMAP environment satellite, the TET-1 technology testing vehicle and the Hispasat H36W-1, ELECTRA and EDRS-C telecommunications satellites.

About The Planetary Society
The Planetary Society is a non-profit organization with the mission of empowering the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration. They introduce people to the wonders of the cosmos, bridging the gap between the scientific community and the general public to inspire and educate people from all walks of life, and they give every citizen of the planet the opportunity to make their voices heard in government and effect real change in support of space exploration.

About SES
SES is a Luxembourgish satellite and terrestrial telecommunications network provider supplying video and data connectivity worldwide to broadcasters, content and internet service providers, mobile and fixed network operators, governments and institutions. With over 70 satellites in two different orbits, they combine a vast, intelligent network of satellites and ground infrastructure with industry-leading expertise to manage and deliver high-performance video and data solutions virtually everywhere on the planet.

About Twitch TV
Introduced in June 2011, Twitch TV is an American video live streaming service that focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of esports competitions. In addition, it offers music broadcasts, creative content, and more recently, "in real life" streams.


Related Links :

B612 Foundation

BCE – Broadcasting Center Europe


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