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From 26.-30. April 2021 the Planetary Defence Conference will take place in Vienna for the seventh time. Actually, that was the plan. The call for flexibility reached also the PDC- Organizers, so for the first time this conference will be held up virtual via webEx.
The networking event of the international Planetary Defence community had its premier in 2009 in Granada, Spain. Since then also Bucharest, Flagstaff, Frascati, Tokyo and Washington DC were on the list of hostcities. This year, the main organization lies in a cooperation between IAA, UNOOSA and ESA. By looking among the participants the strong international focus of the conference is reflected, i.a. through representatives of space agencies, national governments and science
The event-cause lies in the statistical probability of an asteroid strike. If such a one collides with earth we can expect – depending on material constitution – massive economic and social damage globally. In order to meet this challenge in a holistic way, prae and post impact scenarios are integrated. Topics as space surveillance stand beside measures of defending and disaster management. This includes counselling need of either astrophysics, lawyers or sociologists.
Each day of the 5-day schedule sheds light on another aspect of Planetary Defence: The Agenda includes Highlights (1), Discovery (2), Mission Planning (3), Protecting the Public (4) and Known Threats and Recommendations (5). These sequences will be filled with meetings, panels and exercises. Of course the very well valued „get together“ following the formal part falls through, but the organizers are hardly working on it in order to set up a virtual compensation for the social aspect.
The Austrian Space Forum (OeWF)
Ever since the OeWF has been personally represented at the event and is well known in the international community. This year and (to pre-empt) also in 2023 it takes over a special role and honor by being part of the local organizing committee (LOC) which was planning together with the International OC for month now. Beside this, it is scientifically involved in papers and speeches given by its members and will take the chance to expand its network.
As the Corona-pandemic clearly shows it is of enormous importance to be on alert – this also goes for the impact-threat. Given that prevention and social protection become growing topics for decision makers, events as the PDC are crucial. We`re very much looking forward to an interesting time in April 2021!
Note: Vienna will be the host city of the PDC in 2023 again. Because of the virtual setting this years participation is free of charge. Conference content will be available online after the event-closing.
This article is available in: German
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