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Lu to Speak on Threat of Asteroid Impacts

Ed Lu

Ed Lu aboard the ISS. Courtesy NASA.

Ed Lu, the chairman and CEO of the B612 Foundation, which seeks to protect Earth from asteroid impacts by finding such asteroids in time to deflect them, will give the next Sheraton Waikiki Explorers of the Universe public lecture, “Astronomy Saves the World: Protecting the Planet from Asteroid Impacts,” at 7:30 p.m. on August 15 at the UH Mānoa Kennedy Theatre.

Asteroids hit Earth more often than most people realize. In his talk, Lu will describe the risk of asteroid impacts and how we can prevent these cosmic natural disasters. He says, “We already know how to deflect an asteroid to keep it from hitting the Earth, but this technology is useless unless we do one crucial step first.” Lu will describe his efforts to accomplish this necessary first step and to literally help save the world.

Lu is a former NASA astronaut who flew three space missions, including six months on the International Space Station. From 2007 to 2010, he led the Advanced Projects group at Google, where his teams developed imaging technology for Google Earth/Maps, Google Street View, and energy information products including Google PowerMeter. He is the co-inventor of the Gravity Tractor, a space- craft able to controllably alter the orbit of an asteroid.

Lu has published scientific articles on high-energy astrophysics, solar physics, plasma physics, cosmology, and statistical physics. He holds a PhD in astrophysics from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University. Prior to joining NASA, he was a postdoctoral fellow in solar physics at the IfA.

See the IfA special events web page for ticket information.