Dr Alan Fitzsimmons will deliver the ESE Departmental Seminar on 02nd March 2023, “The NASA DART mission: How to move an asteroid”

Join us in room G41 – RSM Building – on Thursday 02nd March 2023 at 12h10.

Or on Microsoft Teams: Alan Fitzsimmons Seminar


Over the past 3 decades, over 31,000 Near-Earth Asteroids and Comets have been discovered with wide—field sky surveys. Yet up to now, the response to a confirmed impact threat has relied on theoretical studies. In September 2022 NASA performed the first experimental demonstration in the field of Planetary Defence, when the DART spacecraft impacted the small asteroid Dimorphos at 6.1 km/sec. This talk will briefly cover the background to the field, and the design of the mission. Some of the resulting spectacular results from space-based and ground-based observations will be shown, and initial results will be explained. The talk will end with a look ahead to what comes next during this decade.

About the speaker

Alan Fitzsimmons is a planetary scientist who specialises in studying asteroids, comets, and occasionally Interstellar Objects. He has been involved in the field of planetary defence for over 20 years. He is a member of the ATLAS NEO Survey and the NASA DART Investigation team. He also sits on the ESA Hera Science Management Board and the ESA NEOMIR Science Advisory Group.  He is happy to report that asteroid (4985) Fitzsimmons will not be a problem for future generations.

Getting here