2019 Astronaut Meet & Greet; Credit: Asteroid Day / Vio Dudau

To celebrate the sixth edition of Asteroid Day, an official United Nations-recognised global awareness and education day held on 30 June, various events will be taking place in Luxembourg and around the globe leading up to this date.

Asteroid Day was co-founded by astrophysicist and famed musician Dr. Brian May of the rock group QUEEN, Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart, filmmaker Grig Richters and B612 President Danica Remy to promote awareness and inform the general public about the importance of asteroids in our solar system history, as well as the role they play in our solar system today. This global effort is modelled after Earth Day. Events are scheduled leading up to 30 June, the date of the largest asteroid impact of Earth in recorded history (Tunguska).

Asteroid Day has evolved to include the participation of major national space agencies, namely the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Roscosmos, the  Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), as well as prominent scientists, astronomers, educators and media worldwide. In 2016, the United Nations declared Asteroid Day an official day of education, initiated in part by a need to better understand the role of asteroids, following the 15 February 2013 meteor impact in Chelyabinsk, Russia. 

Dr. Brian May explained: “Asteroid Day was created to encourage the public and governments to learn more about asteroids, the origin of our Solar System, and to support the resources necessary to find and deflect asteroids". 
On behalf of the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), which leads the SpaceResources.lu initiative that has been instrumental in the expansion of Asteroid Day, CEO Marc Serres commented: “Luxembourg is proud to be the global headquarters for Asteroid Day and to aid in inspiring countries around the world to participate in this United Nations Day of education and awareness”.
 Ruy Pinto, Chief Technology Officer at Luxembourg-based communications company SES, added: “SES has been supporting Asteroid Day for several years, and we are proud to once again join efforts with other partners on this campaign to enable raising awareness about asteroids and space. Building expertise around topics like these certainly benefits current and future generations, contributing to a better understanding of the universe we live in. We look forward to broadcasting this story to everyone this year!”
Dr. Tom Jones, NASA astronaut at Association of Space Explorers, also commented: “On Asteroid Day, we share the latest information on the search for near-Earth asteroids that might pose a threat to our planet, and discuss the space technologies we might apply together to help prevent a cosmic disaster. I’m especially interested in the joint NASA-ESA programs DART and HERA to demonstrate how we can deflect a near-Earth object”.
Asteroid Day 2020 events will take place on all five continents and are in the process of being organised by local organisations, such as the Ministry of Education and SpaceResources.lu in Luxembourg. 
Planned Asteroid Day 2020 events in Luxembourg include:
  • 1 June: Asteroid Day TV starts broadcasting worldwide online and via SES Satellites
  • 25 June: Technical Briefing with Asteroid Experts (by invitation)
  • 26 June: Asteroid Day LIVE Global Broadcast-Webcast, produced at RTL Studios
  • 26 June: Gala Dinner in Cercle Cité in Luxembourg-ville
  • 27 June: Astronaut and Asteroid Expert meet and greet (public) 
  • 30 June: Events organised worldwide (mostly public). In Luxembourg, multiple independently organised events are in the planning stages at museums and schools