(6/24) Planetary Defense mini-Conference w/ 30th Anniversary of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

When:  Jun 24, 2023 from 10:30 to 16:30 (PT)
Associated with  Los Angeles Section

RSVP and Information: https://conta.cc/3O9XY07

AIAA LA-LV Section

Planetary Defense and Asteroid/Comet Exploration mini-Conference 2023

(and Solar System/Space Resources Utilization)

with Celebration for the 30th Anniversary of Discovering Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

Saturday, June 24, 2023, 10:30 AM PDT (Add to Calendar)

(A hybrid event with both in-person and online speakers and attendees)

2022-2023 marked another amazing year in Planetary Defense and Asteroid / Comet Exploration! 2023 is also the 30th Anniversary of discovering (1993) the important Shoemaker-Levy 9, a year toward the 30th Anniversary of the alarming, awakening, and gigantic impact/explosion on Jupiter (1994). Let's celebrate it together with its co-discoverer, Dr. David Levy. It's also vital to examine the readiness and status/progresses of the technologies/research to keep mankind and the civilizations safe. The 1st NASA Asteroid Sample Return Mission with OSIRIS-REx is on track to deliver a sample of asteroid Bennu to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023, completing a seven-year mission. The OSIRIS-APEX mission will reprise the discoveries of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft at a second asteroid, Apophis, an hour after Apophis’s dramatic close approach to Earth on April 13, 2029. You will also learn about the updates from the Planetary Defense Conference (PDC) in Vienna (Wien), Austria, in April 2023. There have been exciting progresses on NEO Surveyor, and Comet observations using the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes. Please join AIAA LA-LV Section and enjoy this fun filled event that brings us closer to subject(s), issues, and threats/readiness on Planetary Defense!

Join Us
RSVP and Information


Lawndale Library (Meeting Room)

14615 Burin Ave., Lawndale, CA 90260

(South of 105 Hwy, East/North of 405 Hwy and Pacific Coast Hwy (1), West of 110 Hwy)

(Near SpaceX Hawthorne, and close to Northrop Grumman Space Park)

(also online on Zoom for a hybrid event)

(This event is not sponsored by the Lawndale Library)

Parking Information:

(Free Library and Street Parking, following the signs. Metered/Payment Parking Lot/Spots nearby. Please follow the street traffic signs.)

Tentative Agenda (All Time PDT (Pacific Daylight-Saving Time (GMT -0700) (US and Canada))

(Please note, possible adjustments are likely with more potential speakers' confirmation.)

Morning Session: Part I: (Mostly) Online Presenters

10:30 AM PDT: Welcome (Dr. Nahum Melamed and AIAA LA-LV Section)

10:35 AM PDT: Dr. Nahum Melamed (Overview, NEO Deflection App, and OSIRIS-REx Sample Return Sept. 2023, possible extension to rendezvous with Apophis in 2029) (In-person)

10:50 AM PDT: Prof. Amy Mainzer (NASA NEO Surveyor) (On-line)

11:20 AM PDT: Prof. Joel Marks ("Planetary Defense: The Nature of the Threat.") (On-line)

12:50 AM PDT: ProfChristopher D. Johnson ("Law and policy aspects of planetary defense") (On-line)

12:10 PM PDT: (End of Morning Session)

Intermission/Lunch Break

12:10 PM PDT: Lunch Break (lunch no provided, on attendees' own in nearby restaurants. Contact AIAA LA-LV Section for more information if needed.), Networking

Afternoon Session: Part II: (Mostly) Local Presenters

01:10 PM PDT: All (Celebration for 30th Anniversary of Discovering Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9)

01:20 PM PDT: Dr. David Levy (Discovery of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 and its significance) (On-line)

02:20 PM PDT: Dr. Bill Ailor (PDC 2023 Updates) (In-person)

02:50 PM PDT: Prof. Madhu Thangavelu ("Brief History & Highlights of Planetary Defense Concepts") (In-person)

03:10 PM PDT: Mr. Phil Groves ("Asteroid Hunters" IMAX Documentary, and "Fostering public support for planetary defense through media") (In-person)

03:30 PM PDT: Dr. Nahum Melamed (more on Planetary Defense, NEO Deflection App, and a study on Planetary Defense against Comets") (In-person)

04:00 PM PDT: Dr. Nahum Melamed & All (Q&A, Discussion, Progresses & Future Perspectives of Planetary Defense, Asteroid / Comet exploration, tracking, and Solar System's Resources Utilization)

04:30 PM PDT: Adjourn

Dr. Nahum Melamed

(Event lead, Moderator and Speaker)


AIAA Distinguished Lecturer/Speaker

Project Leader, Guidance and Control Subdivision,

The Aerospace Corporation

Prof. Amy Mainzer


Professor, Principal Investigator, NEOWISE and NEO Surveyor

Ph.D., 2003, University of California, Los Angeles

Years with LPL: 2019 to present

Dr. David H. Levy


Wendee’s Husband,

Comet and Asteroid Hunter,

Co-Discoverer, Shoemaker-Levy 9 

Editor of the web magazine Sky’s Up!

Columnist, Skyward, in the local Vail Voice paper,

Emmy Award Winner, "Three Minutes to Impact" Documentary ,

Five honorary doctorates in Science and

a PhD which combines astronomy and English Literature

Dr. William H. Ailor


Aerospace Fellow,

The Aerospace Corporation

Prof. Joel Marks


Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of New Haven

Bioethics Center Scholar, Yale University

Goal 2 update team member, SBAG (NASA)

Prof. Madhu Thangavelu


Director and Faculty Member


Mr. Philip Groves


"Asteroid Hunters" IMAX Producer & Writer, Photo51, LLC.

Prof. Christopher Johnson


Space Law Advisor,

Secure World Foundation


Adjunct Professor of Law,

Georgetown University Law Center

Disclaimer: The views of the speakers do not represent the views of AIAA or the AIAA Los Angeles-Las Vegas Section


Lawndale Library (Meeting Room)
14615 Burin Ave.
Lawndale, CA 90260
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Online Instructions:
Url: http://aiaa.zoom.us
Login: Please RSVP https://conta.cc/3O9XY07 and receive the ticket/confirmation email (with Zoom in/Dial in information). Please check your Spam, Junk, or Promotions folder right after successful registration, if not in the Inbox.
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Events/Program Chair