Speech by Academician Yefim Malitikov
Chairman of the Interstate Committee
Chairman of the Interstate Committee for Knowledge Dissemination and Adult Education,
President of the International Association “Znanie”
Dear ladies and gentlemen!
The participants of this conference consider various aspects related to research and future exploration of the Moon and use of this celestial body for the needs of the mankind on the Earth.
I would like to draw your attention to the International Global Monitoring Aerospace System (IGMASS) project. The project was put forward by the International Association Znanie and the Russian Academy of Astronautics. Preparations for its implementation are now underway under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Academy of Astronautics.
The IGMASS system is designed to provide early warning of the approach of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, droughts, floods, landslides, storms, man-made disasters and asteroid danger. For these purposes, various means of ground, air and space surveillance are to be mobilized by combining them (both existing and those to be created additionally) into an integrated system with unified and technically compatible means of control, forecasting, warning and warning.
It is assumed that IGMASS will consist of 3 segments: space, ground and air. The space segment will consist of six satellites in geostationary orbit and three to four satellites in sun-synchronous orbit. The air segment will be represented by planes, helicopters and airships of different states. The ground segment will consist of data collection and processing stations, direct control sensors, as well as the IGMASS personnel remote training center equipped with space teleport.
After processing all information will be sent to the national crisis management centers. From there, it will go both to government agencies and international crisis management centers. The latter transmit data to the U.N. and also
The latter transmit data to the United Nations and also share information with early warning systems that already exist in different countries.
During the development of the technical design of IGMASS (at several scientific conferences and meetings of expert committees) and at the first international symposium entitled “Space and Global Security of Mankind”, held in November 2009 in Cyprus with the participation of 34 countries, it was concluded that the project must in future be supplemented by an interplanetary segment in order to improve asteroid hazard prediction and prevention. The best site for this segment could be the Moon.
As you obviously know, there are about 850 asteroids larger than one kilometer, which can cause a planetary-scale catastrophe if they collide with the Earth.
Last year, a new goal was set to detect up to 90% of asteroids larger than 140 meters in diameter, which could cause a regional catastrophe if they collide with the Earth, within the next 10-15 years. There are many more of them than kilometers – not a thousand, but hundreds of thousands.
Technically, the issues of neutralizing a dangerous asteroid in one way or another are solvable. The problem is that many of them have not yet been discovered. When small bodies over 140 meters in size become known, the situation will actually be under control and major catastrophes on Earth can be avoided.
At the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) conference in Hawaii, a presentation by a member of the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics was presented. A presentation by a member of the Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics on the prospects for building a base on the lunar surface was presented. In particular, it was proposed to use the lunar base for tracking and controlling asteroids and comets that could pose a danger to the Earth.
It is clear that one country (even such as Russia or the U.S.) can not pull such a grandiose project, and its implementation would require joint efforts under the auspices of international organizations and, above all, the UN.
The concept of such a lunar station is already supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the Harbin Institute of Technology (China).
Undoubtedly, this segment of the IGMASS project requires additional discussion and refinement. Nevertheless, the idea of observing asteroids from the surface of the Moon is an additional important task in the development of the natural satellite of the Earth in order to ensure global security on our planet.
Individual nations have long been trying to confront global challenges by locking themselves into solving their purely national problems. Even for any space power this is very costly and ineffective: joint efforts of the world community are required. Only a global approach will allow each country to minimize costs through synergies, which is especially relevant in the context of a general economic downturn.
What are the costs of the creation of the IGMASS? Annual damage from earthquakes reaches $100 billion annually, which for a small country could be 40% of all national wealth. And all natural and man-made disasters combined cost the nations of the world more than $1 trillion annually. This is roughly 100 times the cost of creating IGMASS. But the main thing is not money. Only earthquakes kill about 30,000 people annually, while a much larger number of our contemporaries suffer injuries and disabilities and become victims of epidemics.
Over the last year the IGMASS project was hotly discussed at international astronautical conferences held in Russia, Shanghai, Tunisia, Glasgow, Paris and Vienna. The participants of the International Symposium “Space and Global Security of Mankind” held in Cyprus in Limassol on 2-4 November 2009 spoke in favour of the project. The symposium was organized by the International Academy of Astronautics under the aegis of the United Nations and was attended by representatives of more than 30 nations. All of them spoke out unequivocally in favor of continuing work on the creation of IGMASS and giving this project the status of a United Nations program.
In the coming years, according to experts, the damage from natural and man-made disasters in the world will be commensurate with the growth of the total gross product of the planet.
Forecasting of negative phenomena and mitigation of their consequences, and most importantly, preservation of human lives will depend on the timely, and not post factum, adoption of measures. This requires a consolidated position of the states and governments of the world, the integration of their joint political, scientific and technical efforts.
It is necessary to put together and put into action the tools that mankind already has, to disseminate knowledge, and then to elevate this algorithm, all the possibilities and efforts to the rank of the state policy of any country and to the rank of the most important Program of the United Nations. This is a task of global scope.
The prediction and prevention of the asteroid danger, even very unlikely for the time being, as most scientists believe, is a task the very existence of the Earth civilization depends on its solution. Therefore, the Moon programs being developed by the earthlings should be oriented, among other things, to the solution of this civilization problem.
Thank you for your attention.