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The Space Generation Advisory Council is a global non-governmental, non-profit (US 501(c)3) organisation and network which aims to represent university students and young space professionals to the United Nations, space agencies, industry, and academia.






Thousands of astronomers across the world are on a daily search for undiscovered asteroids and comets, some of which, large or small, may hit the Earth in the future. Thankfully, the kilometer sized asteroids seen in movies that are large enough to cause mass-extinctions are incredibly rare. However, 10 to 100 meter rocks are big enough to destroy a city and hit roughly every 100 years, with the last recorded one 101 years ago (the Tunguska Event). With the latest technology, it is now possible to spot some of these smaller sized objects with enough time for missions to be launched and warnings to be sent out.



This competition challenges students and young professionals worldwide to come up with original ideas relating to Earth-threatening Near Earth Objects (NEOs).

The goal of this competition is to describe an innovative idea relating to one or more of these three areas:

- The safe deflection of an Earth-bound NEO -

- The detection of NEOs -

- A global impact warning system -



All papers will be judged by a panel of engineering experts and the winning entrant will receive a full sponsorship to attend and give a presentation on their concept in Cape Town, South Africa at both:

The Space Generation Congress (SGC) 2011 (29 Sep - 1 Oct)
The International Astronautical Congress (IAC) 2011 (3 - 7 Oct)




Each entrant will submit a technical paper, up to ten (10) pages long, describing their design. The responses should meet the following requirements:
  1. Describe in technical detail an idea that could lead to an improvement or innovation in any of the above areas. Entrants should consider the use of current or realistic near-future technologies in their design.
  2. The entrants are not constricted to use specific asteroids and thus can make assumptions about likely asteroid compositions, densities and trajectories.
  3. The competition is intentionally broad. Contestants should attempt to understand the scientific, engineering, and social challenges involved and also recognise that the majority of threats most likely to occur in the next 100 years are from small NEOs (<300m).
  4. Papers should show originality, practicality, familiarity with the technical literature and provide a clear written description of the concept.
  5. The papers should conform to the rules for submission to the IAC. You can download the template here.
  6. The final submissions are due as PDF documents (under 5 MB) and should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. All submissions must be made by 1 July, 2011 by 20:00 UTC. All submission emails should have a point of contact (POC) identified in the email with name, affiliation, address, email, and phone number. This point of contact should be the main author of the paper. Any submissions after the due date will not be considered. Award winner will be announced by 25 August, 2011 (tentative).
  7. There can be up to a maximum of three (3) people per entry. One of the three must be identified as the main author and main point of contact. Only the main point of contact will be eligible to receive the prize funding to attend the conferences. All team members must be under thirty-five (35) years of age by 1 September 2011. No one of any team can be listed as a team member for any other team.
    For the full rules please see here.

What are you waiting for? Start defending the Earth today!



A long term sponsor of the Move An Asteroid competition is SpaceWorks Enterprises, Inc (SEI), an aerospace engineering concept design and systems analysis firm with locations in Atlanta, GA and Washington, D.C.


Are you interested in ensuring that future generations are enthused to continue to develop planetary defense systems? The organisers are looking for offers of additional sponsorship places for 2nd and 3rd place winners, please get in contact using the details below!


For more information on the competition please contact:

Ms. Tejal Tee Thakore, Coordinator, “Asteroid Warning 2011”: International Technical Paper Competition, Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC)

Mr. Andrew Bacon, Team Member, “Asteroid Warning 2011”: International Technical Paper Competition, Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC)

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


To give you some idea of what we are looking for, below are the winning entries from previous Move An Asteroid competitions:

2010: Corbin, B. "Implementing Advanced Technologies and Models to Reduce Uncertainty in a Global, Cost-Effective Asteroid Mitigation System", Download (614kb PDF)

2009: Merikallio, S. "Moving an Asteroid with Electric Solar Wind Sail", Download (458kb PDF)

2008: D'Souza, M., "A Body Solar Sail Concept for the Deflection of 99942 Apophis", Download (233kb PDF)

For further inspriation try browsing the links below:

NEOWG Navigator Partner Sites Related Links
Home Page
B612 Foundation ESA Educational Material
NEO Documentary Association of Space Explorers
IAU Minor Planet Centre
Move An Asteroid Competition Secure World Foundation
Planetary Defense Blog
Get Involved with the NEOWG
The Planetary Society NASA NEO Program

2011 Planetary Defense Conference

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