A Consideration of a National Approach: The US Planetary Impact Emergency Response Working Group (PIERWG); A Joint Effort Between NASA and FEMA

  • Leviticus A. LewisEmail author
Part of the Space and Society book series (SPSO)


In October 2010, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy reaffirmed to Congress the US Government role in preparing for and responding to an actual or predicted impact of an asteroid on US territory. Since that date, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have conducted several meetings and joint tabletop exercises designed to inform FEMA and NASA leadership of the coordination that would be required to respond to an asteroid impact scenario. In August 2015, a formal charter was signed between the two agencies to codify and organize the effort. This charter provides the framework for the establishment and structure of an Interagency team to advise senior leadership, coordinate responsibilities and assist in determining specific issues of preparedness, response and recovery at the national level when faced with a predicted or actual impact of an asteroid or comet in the United States or its territories.


FEMA Post impact recovery National strategy Asteroid impact Planetary defense 

Further Reading

  1. US National Space Policy, June 28, 2010Google Scholar
  2. FEMA 2018-2022 Strategic PlanGoogle Scholar
  3. FEMA, National Preparedness Goal, September 2011Google Scholar
  4. FEMA, Overview of the Federal Interagency Operations Plans, August 2016Google Scholar
  5. FEMA-NASA Planetary Impact Emergency Response Working Group Charter, August 2015Google Scholar
  6. National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy, December 2016Google Scholar
  7. National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan, June 2018Google Scholar
  8. NASA Policy Directive, Subject Notification and Communication regarding Potential Near-Earth Object Threats, NPD-8740Google Scholar
  9. Report on the 2013 NASA-FEMA Asteroid–Impact Tabletop ExerciseGoogle Scholar
  10. Report on the 2014 NASA-FEMA Asteroid-Impact Tabletop ExerciseGoogle Scholar
  11. Report on the 2016 NASA-FEMA Asteroid Impact Tabletop ExerciseGoogle Scholar


  1. Planetary Defense Against Asteroid Strikes: Risks, Options, and Costs” The Aerospace Corporation, Center For Space Policy and Strategy, Melamed, Nahum, The Aerospace Corporation and Melamed Avishai, University of California, San DiegoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Response Coordination Branch Operations Division, Response Directorate, Department of Homeland SecurityFederal Emergency Management AgencyWashington, DCUSA

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