Here we collect the most Frequently Asked Questions and some general answers for them.

Feel free to contact us with any questions or considerations you may have regarding the EADP.

Why us?

The mission of preparing humanity for a potential asteroid collision is something that should have done a long time ago. We, as an advanced species, have had the basic technology for about half a century. Events like Chelyabinsk Meteor, in February 2013, could have been avoided if adequate detection and deflection missions had been developed.

Søren O. Ekelund, engineer and international entrepreneur through many years despite a young age, and with a track record for doing what most would call impossible, had long known this need, worked on it since 2012 and when the right technology seemed to appear in December 2014 at Asteroid Deflection Research Center at Iowa State University he acted accordingly. He drafted a scientific argument for how and why, set aside revenue from his small corporation 01 Advanced Innovation for the project, and employed four very different but highly dedicated professionals to make it their full time priority to see an asteroid defense realized as soon as possible. This core team provides the energy and motivation that will overcome any and all challenges!

Why us? Because we believe in the mission, and have done what most called impossible several times before. We will make it happen and see it all the way through to the end. We just hope we are quicker than the next big asteroid…

However, we do need to emphasize how important funding and support is. That is why it not only “us”, that will be a part of this project, but to a large degree the general public who will help spread the knowledge and offer us support during our crowdfunding campaigns. This is a global venture to take on a global threat, and it will only succeed if we cooperate globally.

What’s so efficient about our team?

We are a team of many skills, resources and perhaps most importantly of great dedication and diverse experience, as well as with a huge combined network.

We have several strong partners, perhaps most importantly at the moment we have

– the technical support from incredibly experienced professionals like Prof. Bong Wie, who have with his team and colleagues been researching this matter for many years and is the founding director of the Asteroid Deflection Research Center at Iowa State University.

– the legal advice and vast experience of Prof. Frans von der Dunk, one of the most recognized experts in space law, which is extremely important in issues regarding asteroid deflection where the security of many countries, and basically all of Earth, are at stake and dependent on matters in space.

– the social media expertise from Remco Timmermans, host of UN-declared World Space Week among much else, who have joined the EADP cause to help us reach out to as much of the world as possible.

Has a deflection plan ever been crowdfunded/publicly funded before?

No, it has not – yet. However, several other space missions have been successfully crowdfunded, several in the more-than-a-million-dollars class, and crowdfundings higher than $80 million are currently running. This shows that people in general are interested in space, astronomy and cosmology, and that big money can be raised this way. This mission, however, is one that we are certain will be of interest to most people in general, since it involves the safety of every single inhabitant on Earth. The same answer goes for public funding – people in general have an interest in outer space, and in not being in mortal danger, so by supporting EADP one can get directly involved in a project of the greatest importance.

Are there any safety issues with using a nuclear device in this way?

For all practical intents and purposes: No. The HAIV will be hitting an asteroid so far away, that no nuclear material, radiation or shock wave will reach the Earth’s surface.

Please notice: EADP will NOT be handling any nuclear explosives, weapons or warheads – those belong to and are handled on by the governments we provide the HAIV to in case of asteroid emergency.

EADP ‘just’ provides the HAIV vehicle, making it possible in the first place to hit the asteroid and use the nuclear explosives effectively for asteroid defence – the only option Earth currently has in case of short-warning asteroid threats.

Almost everybody on Earth are already surrounded by nuclear missiles in many countries, such as the around 500 deployed in the US today (and more than 2000 in the past).

And the US missiles are launch-tested quite frequently, every few years.

And for those who think the US and Russia are the only places like that; France is actually the third largest nuclear weapons force in the world.

These launch vehicles very rarely malfunction, and even when they have done so, the innumerable safety features of even old warheads prevent any nuclear explosion or fallout. See for example the Complex 374-7 Titan II missile explosion, where a nuclear missile and its silo exploded due to a rocket-fuel leak, but without the warhead detonating or emitting radiation despite of this.

On top of the normal nuclear warhead safety features against accidents and misuse, the HAIV’s NED is designed for use only far from the surface of Earth, so will in any case deny to explode close enough to ground level to do any harm there.

There can be international legal complications however, but we are able to avoid them all in one way or another as concluded in the legal analysis by the expert space lawyer Prof. Frans von der Dunk.

Legal complications or not, we do however believe that if, say, a sizeable asteroid is headed towards a city like New York, Moscow or Beijing, we will as a team be able to gather the global support to get a mandate to act regardless of otherwise existing legal obstructions, if needed in order to save the lives of millions!

Isn’t it illegal to send nuclear explosives into space?

For this question we again refer to the legal report by expert space lawyer Prof. Frans von der Dunk:

It is for practical purposes not illegal, as long as it is intended to save humanity or countless lives.

Please notice: EADP will NOT be handling any nuclear explosives, weapons or warheads – those belong to and are handled on by the governments we provide the HAIV to in case of asteroid emergency.

EADP ‘just’ provides the HAIV vehicle, making it possible in the first place to hit the asteroid and use the nuclear explosives effectively for asteroid defence – the only option Earth currently has in case of short-warning asteroid threats.

There can be international legal complications for states in doing what EADP does due to old treatise on nuclear technology that was not meant to cover asteroid defence, but as international non-profit organization we are able to avoid them all in one way or another, as concluded in the legal analysis by the expert space lawyer Prof. Frans von der Dunk.

Why will this work?

Prof. Bong Wie and his colleagues at the Asteroid Deflection Research Center at Iowa State University has been working on the HAIV concept since 2011 and produced
several peer-reviewed papers and
presentations about the HAIV with the approval of NASA and NIAC among others.

For the construction of the HAIVs we will probably use Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL), an English company with a more than 25 year successful history of quickly building small efficient satellites at a fraction of the cost of other providers. As such the first HAIV will not be a billion dollars marvel of state-of-the-art technology, but rather a work-horse spacecraft based on proven satellite components and certified by the relevant agencies; as good and reliable as can be had for relatively small money, but also infinitely better than nothing and safe to store and launch.

Launch will probably be provided by SpaceX in cooperation with NASA, but that is yet too early to be sure about.

We at EADP are putting all our time, effort and funds into making this project a success – and we do not stop before it has been realized. But most importantly it will succeed because this mission is one that we, as the human race, needs as a last resort in confronting the danger of asteroids and meteors – a substantial danger to us all, every day.

The EADP will become a safety net available for the international community to use, when no other option is viable. Furthermore, it will work due to the global community and purpose that already gathers around our noble mission: To protect Earth from outer space dangers.

What does a life saved with EADP’s HAIV cost?

A single HAIV asteroid defence costs $100-500 per life saved; basically a conservative calculation of 1 million lives – a small city – saved with a mission costing the world 100-500 million in total.

With an average age of death of approx. 80 in the US and a population of average 40 years, that yields 40 years saved on average for each life or some $2.5-12.5 per life-year for EADP asteroid defence.

But doesn’t EADP’s first HAIV only cost $25 million per mission, according to the crowdfunding?

Yes; that is because the rocket and launch (some hundred million) in first trial mission and later actual emergency is donated by NASA and private companies such as SpaceX. So if only what the backers pay is counted, the price per life is even a staggering low $25-125 or some $0.6-3.1 per life-year.

You call the full society cost $125 per life or $12.5 per life-year cheap – how does that compare to other methods of saving human lives?

Compared to the 500 other most cost-beneficial interventions that require active public investment, EADP’s asteroid defence takes the absolute 1st place, with such things as defibrillators in emergency vehicles coming in 2nd with $39 per life-year (some 3-15 times EADP’s asteroid defence even at the high $2.5-12.5 per life-year) and mandatory seat belt law coming in around 3rd place with $69 – cancer scanning for women is at around 10th place at $410 per life-year, and from there it obviously only gets more expensive with the war against terror at the top with some $9 million or more per life in rough estimates.

Many other seemingly cheap methods of saving life-years quickly add up when one thinks about it; such as battling hunger at even just $1 per day adding up to $365 per life-year. And even giving malaria-nets to babies through the Against Malaria Foundation, which is considered the currently most cost-efficient donation by GiveWell, costs $3337 per life, adds up to around $62 per life-year considering the average life-expectancy in Malawi is around 54 – some 5-25 times EADP’s asteroid defence even at the high $2.5-12.5 per life-year.

When will we see the first spacecraft?

A space program typically takes five to ten years, and the final implementation partners are not chosen yet, but we move to do this as fast as possible while still being highly responsible – currently we are looking at a first Technical Design Study followed by 6 month crowdfunding before the first HAIV will be built in 18-24 months. There are, however, many obstacles that we need to overcome and that may delay the project.

We will work to inform our community about the progress and challenges of the project as best possible, and all updates and information available can be found on our website and our social media platforms.

Will there be more than one HAIV?

Yes – for the simple reason that more than one asteroid could be on collision course with Earth at the same time. It will take time for us to provide, though, and is highly dependent on how much funding we can attract. We will need more rockets – the more deflection devices, the faster and closer we will come to completely eliminating the danger.

This is also a reason why we support B612 and their Sentinel Mission. They are planning to launch a satellite into orbit that can give us a clear map of potential hazardous NEOs (asteroids and comets) down to some 20-30 meter in diameter. Their mission is very valuable, because, unlike telescopes on Earth, the Sentinel can detect NEOs which would otherwise not be detected, or be detected too late even for HAIVs to intercept it.

What if the rocket fails to launch, or the HAIV fails to work?

That is a very unlikely situation, with possible construction partners like SSTL having provided similar spacecraft for more than 25 years without fatal errors.

But in case an error should occur we strive to have backup plans and extra HAIVs, to intercept the asteroid or comet in question so early that we have a second chance to intercept if necessary. Or to intercept several asteroids at the same time if need be.

This also underlines the need for several HAIVs, and as long range and early detection as possible. However, just one HAIV intercepting an asteroid or comet with at least a few days of warning, is still much better than no defence at all as is the current situation.

In order to avoid technical difficulties as much as possible we work with highly skilled and experienced professionals, who can ensure the success of constructing, launching and operating the HAIVs.

Will the EMP emissions possess any danger to Earth?

“In most cases there will be NO EMP.
Significant EMP is not created by the nuclear explosion itself, but by the interaction of the gamma pulse of a nuclear explosion with material, usually the atmosphere. The nuclear option usually envisions interception of the asteroid beyond the moon (> hundreds of thousands km from the earth). The strength of the gamma pulse decreases as the square of the distance, such that the gamma pulse arriving at earth is far too weak to be a problem. If this were not true, gamma ray bursts and solar flares would cause blackouts many times per year. The EMP that was produced in early high altitude tests was generated by high yield bursts from a few hundred to a thousand km up.” – David Dearborn

Could the effects of the EMP outweigh the effects of the impact itself?

“This rather depends on the asteroid. A large asteroid can produce craters of 10’s to 100’s of km, with devastating blast effects to thousands of km. Direct and devastating effects will occur over an area much larger than the EMP footprints seen in the tests mentioned above. To make the assertion above correct you must consider only a small asteroid that is discovered so late that it can only be intercepted at a few hundred to thousand km. First, if the asteroid is small enough and is not going to land in a populated area, one might just let it land and do research on the impact. However, if it is going to hit a city, and the nuclear option is available, it could save cost of replacing Chicago or New York (with most of their population) and the entire economic infrastructure associated with a major city. Compared to that, the EMP effects extend over a thousand km patch are negligible. Further, they can easily be minimized. The first step is shut down the electronics for a short period following the burst. Surge protectors will do the rest. Moreover you have to work very hard to produce a strong high frequency EMP pulse. With much less work, I can provide a directional shield that blocks the gamma pulse in the earth’s direction.

A more serious question for the low altitude use of a nuclear burst has to do with satellites. Again there is no problem for a burst beyond the magnetosphere, and for a low altitude intercept, the economic question of how many satellites equal a city, and what one can do to minimize the impact on satellites can be discussed.” – David Dearborn

What will be the last minute HAIV nuclear interception altitude?

“The last-minute HAIV nuclear intercept mission with one-day warning will occur above altitude of 2,500 km (not lower than 400 km). Even a nuclear detonation at 200 to 400 km altitude cannot be worse than the effects of a 50- to 150-m asteroid impact itself (http://fas.org/spp/starwars/congress/1997_h/h970716u.htm).

Again, the last-minute HAIV intercept mission is recommended only as the last resort when ALL other approaches (early detection, gentle deflection, etc.) fail.” – Prof. Bong Wie