This article was originally published on Air & Cosmos – International on June 28, 2023.
The Asteroid Foundation in Luxembourg is celebrating the eighth edition of Asteroid Day, with a program of festivities at the end of the week, focusing on education about asteroids and space, but also the development of space businesses and their relevance to Earth.
From California to Luxembourg
The Asteroid Day was co-founded in 2014 by British astrophysicist Brian May (world-famous for also being the guitarist of rock band Queen), former American astronaut Rusty Schweickart (lunar module pilot during the Apollo 9 mission, in March 1969), German documentary filmmaker Grig Richters, and Foundation B612 president Danica Remy – a foundation set up in 2002 in California (by, among others, Rusty Schweickart), and dedicated to protecting the Earth from asteroid strikes.
The aim of Asteroid Day is to raise public awareness of the importance of asteroids – their role in the formation of the Solar System, their impact on space resources, and the importance of defending our planet from potential collisions.
The event is scheduled each year on June 30, which corresponds to the anniversary of the largest asteroid impact in human history, which occurred in 1908 at Tunguska, Siberia, and devastated the forested area of this cold desert in the blink of an eye.
In Luxembourg, Asteroid Day is supported by the Luxemburg Space Agency (LSA).
The program is developed by the Asteroid Foundation, based in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg since 2017 and chaired by Markus Payer.
Three days of festivities
The program for the 2023 edition of Asteroid Day in Luxembourg is based on three pillars :
- Visits by astronauts and experts to schools, on June 29 and 30
- A major space lecture (Asteroid Day Space Lecture), on June 30 at 4 hours at Luxembourg’s Tramsschapp cultural center, featuring researchers and astronauts Christer Fuglesang (Sweden), Dorin Prunariu (Romania) and Paolo Nespoli (Italy), followed by a Space Happy Hour.
- The Asteroid Day Festival, on July 1 at Luxembourg’s Tramsschapp cultural center, with engineers, scientists, the same astronauts and entrepreneurs taking part in roundtable discussions on a wide range of topics from 10 am to 6 pm.