ABOUT THE FILM

SYNOPSIS

Venture into deep space for a fascinating look at asteroids, their cosmic origins and the potential threat they pose to our world with the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. Narrated by Daisy Ridley, Asteroid Hunters introduces asteroid scientists – the best line of defense between Earth and an asteroid’s destructive path – and reveals the cutting-edge tools and techniques they use to detect and track asteroids, and the technology that may one day protect our planet. The effects of an asteroid impact could be catastrophic and while the current probability of an event in our lifetime is low, the potential consequences make the study of asteroids an incredibly important area of scientific research. Witness the latest in planetary defense and how science, ingenuity and determination combine to explore the world’s most preventable natural disaster.

ASTEROID SCIENTISTS

Mark Boslough, PhD

MARK BOSLOUGH, Ph.D. is the Chair of the Asteroid Day Expert Panel (ADXP). He received his B.S. in Physics from Colorado State University in 1977 and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech 1983. He was member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories from 1983 until 2017. At Sandia, he worked on many aspects of planetary impact physics, including Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact models, formation of the Libyan Desert of Egypt, the 1908 Tunguska explosion, the 2008 TC3 airburst over Sudan, and impacts on Jupiter in 2010 and 2012. He now works on planetary defense at Los Alamos National Laboratory and serves as a research professor at the University of New Mexico.

Boslough served on the asteroid mitigation panel and coauthored the NRC report “Defending Planet Earth” in 2010. He was the first US scientist to visit the site of the 2013 Chelyabinsk airburst, as a participant in a NOVA documentary. His simulation of that event appeared on the covers of Nature in November 2013, and Physics Today in September 2014. He provided information and simulations of airbursts for disaster scenarios for FEMA tabletop exercises in 2013, 2014, and 2016, and helped develop impact scenarios for every Planetary Defense Conferences since 2013.

Marina Brozović, PhD

MARINA BROZOVIĆ, Ph.D. received her B.S. in physics at the University of Zagreb in Croatia and a Ph.D. in physics from Duke University. She was a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology. She has been working as a radar scientist and an orbital dynamicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California since 2007. Dr. Brozović observed more than 200 near-Earth asteroids with radar, and she was involved in the discoveries of a dozen binary and three triple asteroid systems, fourteen moons of Jupiter, and several Trans-Neptunian Objects. Dr. Brozović worked on the NASA’s New Horizons mission to the dwarf planet Pluto as a part of the Hazards Team, and she is currently on the Investigation Team for a planned NASA’s infra-red space telescope called Near-Earth Object Surveillance Mission (NEOSM) that will search for asteroids and comets that can endanger Earth.

Nahum Melamed, PhD

NAHUM MELAMED, Ph.D. is a project leader in the Embedded Control Systems Department in the Guidance and Control Subdivision at The Aerospace Corporation. He joined Aerospace in 2003. As a technical lead in Launch Vehicle Software, Melamed coordinates and guides a team of interdepartmental technical experts, and supports independent validation and mission readiness certification of the flight software and mission parameters for the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) on top of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). He serves as the management, program office, and contractor FSW point of contact on the program.

During his tenure at Aerospace, Melamed has demonstrated a corporate educational standard for knowledge and competency in space systems engineering. He conducts planetary defense technical and policy studies, co-chairs planetary defense conferences, serves on exercise organizing committees, and speaks at these venues.

Kelly Fast, PhD

KELLY FAST, Ph.D. is the Near-Earth Object Observations Program Manager for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office. She earned her B.S. in Astrophysics from UCLA and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Maryland. She investigated ozone and atmospheric chemistry on Mars, winds on Titan, and the effects on Jupiter’s stratosphere of small body impacts as an astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center before coming to NASA Headquarters in 2011. Previously a visiting astronomer at NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Maunakea, Hawai’i, she is also now the IRTF Program Scientist. She served as Program Scientist for the MAVEN mission to Mars and led NASA’s Solar System Observations, Planetary Astronomy and Planetary Atmospheres research and analysis programs.

Main-belt asteroid 115434 (2003 TU2) was renamed “Kellyfast” in honor of her contributions to planetary science. Known for belting out a song and producing YouTube’s “Hotel Mauna Kea”, she also enjoys Star Trek, Space:1999, crochet, and ham radio, holding Amateur Extra license class callsign N3XUJ.

FILMMAKERS

W.D. Hogan
Director

W. D. HOGAN is the director of the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. Collaborating with Oscar® and Emmy® winning filmmakers as an illustrator greatly influenced Hogan in the art and design of storytelling, helping craft unique visuals and performances in a variety of formats.

Beginning in music videos and documentary, Hogan broke into features with the independent film Soldier of God (2005) and has since worked with Fox, NBC/ Universal, HBO and Netflix. Hogan is a member of the DGA, IATSE and the ADG (Art Directors Guild).

Phil Groves
Writer / Producer

PHIL GROVES is the writer and producer of the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. Prior to becoming a film producer, he was the EVP of Worldwide Distribution for IMAX Corporation. While at IMAX, Phil brought IMAX’s slate of Hollywood event films to IMAX screens around the world, beginning with the very first day-and-date release of an IMAX DMR® title, Matrix Revolutions. In 2016, he was honored with the CinemaCon Passepartout Award for his “dedication and commitment to the international marketplace.” Additionally, he increased the reach of IMAX documentaries to more IMAX screens worldwide. Previous to IMAX, Phil was Vice President of Film for Loews Cineplex, spending over 20 years buying film for this national exhibition chain as well as Cineplex Odeon, and General Cinema.

Before his executive film career, Phil earned screenwriting credits or storyboarded a number of films including the comedy classic Airplane!, created on-screen graphics for television’s Wall Street Journal Consumer Newsline, and published comic books as writer and illustrator. During his childhood in Maryland, he was a passionate fan of space exploration.

Jini Durr
Producer

JINI DURR is a producer of the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. Durr is an award-winning producer with over 25 years of experience in the giant screen and special venue production. Her passion is bringing state-of-the-art technology to storytelling. Her credits include producing several ground-breaking films for National Geographic Studios including Mysteries of the Unseen World, Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure; Robots 3D and Wildest Weather in the Solar System for the fulldome. She was also supervising producer on Tom Hanks’ Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon, produced Roar: Lions of the Kalahari for National Geographic, co-produced Siegfried and Roy: The Magic Box and was VFX Producer on IMAX’s T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous. Durr is currently the producer of the first show for Madison Square Garden’s Sphere, the largest spherical venue in the world, opening in Las Vegas in 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Film from the University of California, Berkeley and is a member of the Director’s Guild of America. She resides in Culver City, California with her husband and daughter.

Donald Yeomans
Science Advisor

DONALD K. YEOMANS, Ph.D. is the principle science advisor for the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. Dr. Yeomans was a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Fellow and Senior Research Scientist before his retirement in 2015. Starting in 1998, Yeomans was the manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL, now called the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, an office that is responsible for providing predictions for future close Earth approaches and impacts by comets and asteroids. Yeomans other professional achievements include being the Radio Science team chief for NASA’s Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission, the NASA Project Scientist for the successful Japanese mission to land upon, and return a sample from, a near-Earth asteroid Itokawa and a scientific investigator on NASA’s Deep Impact mission that successfully impacted comet Tempel 1 in July 2005 and flew past comet Hartley 2 in November 2010. He also provided the accurate predictions that led to the recovery of comet Halley at Palomar Observatory on October 16, 1982 and allowed the discovery of 164 BC Babylonian observations of comet Halley on clay tablets in the British Museum. More recently, Yeomans co-authored a book draft on NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program – a work that will be released as a NASA history book. Asteroid “2956” was renamed asteroid “2956 Yeomans” to honor his professional achievements and in 2013, Yeomans was named as one of the 100 most influential persons by Time magazine.

TALENT

Daisy Ridley
NARRATOR

DAISEY RIDLEY is an English actress best known for her breakthrough role as Rey in the 2015 film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She reprised her role as Rey in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi in 2017 and was most recently seen in the final film in the trilogy, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, directed by JJ Abrams. The film marked the final chapter in The Skywalker Saga and was released on December 20, 2019. Her other film credits include Ophelia, Peter Rabbit, Murder on the Orient Express, Only Yesterday and the upcoming Chaos Walking. She also served as an executive producer on the documentary The Eagle Huntress and will be an executive producer on the television adaptation of the Maggie Hope book series.

John Debney
Composer

JOHN DEBNEY is the composer for the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. An Academy Award® nominee (Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score: The Passion of the Christ, 2004), Debney has created a variety of works across many genres and as a highly collaborative artist, has worked with an array of top-level producers and directors across Hollywood films, video games, television series and documentaries. Debney combines his classical training and a strong knowledge of contemporary sounds to easily adapt to any project.

PARTNERS

ABOUT THE FILM

SYNOPSIS

Venture into deep space for a fascinating look at asteroids, their cosmic origins and the potential threat they pose to our world with the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. Narrated by Daisy Ridley, Asteroid Hunters introduces asteroid scientists – the best line of defense between Earth and an asteroid’s destructive path – and reveals the cutting-edge tools and techniques they use to detect and track asteroids, and the technology that may one day protect our planet. The effects of an asteroid impact could be catastrophic and while the current probability of an event in our lifetime is low, the potential consequences make the study of asteroids an incredibly important area of scientific research. Witness the latest in planetary defense and how science, ingenuity and determination combine to explore the world’s most preventable natural disaster.

ASTEROID SCIENTISTS

Mark Boslough, PhD

MARK BOSLOUGH, Ph.D. is the Chair of the Asteroid Day Expert Panel (ADXP). He received his B.S. in Physics from Colorado State University in 1977 and his Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Caltech 1983. He was member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories from 1983 until 2017. At Sandia, he worked on many aspects of planetary impact physics, including Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact models, formation of the Libyan Desert of Egypt, the 1908 Tunguska explosion, the 2008 TC3 airburst over Sudan, and impacts on Jupiter in 2010 and 2012. He now works on planetary defense at Los Alamos National Laboratory and serves as a research professor at the University of New Mexico.

Boslough served on the asteroid mitigation panel and coauthored the NRC report “Defending Planet Earth” in 2010. He was the first US scientist to visit the site of the 2013 Chelyabinsk airburst, as a participant in a NOVA documentary. His simulation of that event appeared on the covers of Nature in November 2013, and Physics Today in September 2014. He provided information and simulations of airbursts for disaster scenarios for FEMA tabletop exercises in 2013, 2014, and 2016, and helped develop impact scenarios for every Planetary Defense Conferences since 2013.

Marina Brozović, PhD

MARINA BROZOVIĆ, Ph.D. received her B.S. in physics at the University of Zagreb in Croatia and a Ph.D. in physics from Duke University. She was a postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology. She has been working as a radar scientist and an orbital dynamicist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California since 2007. Dr. Brozović observed more than 200 near-Earth asteroids with radar, and she was involved in the discoveries of a dozen binary and three triple asteroid systems, fourteen moons of Jupiter, and several Trans-Neptunian Objects. Dr. Brozović worked on the NASA’s New Horizons mission to the dwarf planet Pluto as a part of the Hazards Team, and she is currently on the Investigation Team for a planned NASA’s infra-red space telescope called Near-Earth Object Surveillance Mission (NEOSM) that will search for asteroids and comets that can endanger Earth.

Nahum Melamed, PhD

NAHUM MELAMED, Ph.D. is a project leader in the Embedded Control Systems Department in the Guidance and Control Subdivision at The Aerospace Corporation. He joined Aerospace in 2003. As a technical lead in Launch Vehicle Software, Melamed coordinates and guides a team of interdepartmental technical experts, and supports independent validation and mission readiness certification of the flight software and mission parameters for the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) on top of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS). He serves as the management, program office, and contractor FSW point of contact on the program.

During his tenure at Aerospace, Melamed has demonstrated a corporate educational standard for knowledge and competency in space systems engineering. He conducts planetary defense technical and policy studies, co-chairs planetary defense conferences, serves on exercise organizing committees, and speaks at these venues.

Kelly Fast, PhD

KELLY FAST, Ph.D. is the Near-Earth Object Observations Program Manager for NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office. She earned her B.S. in Astrophysics from UCLA and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of Maryland. She investigated ozone and atmospheric chemistry on Mars, winds on Titan, and the effects on Jupiter’s stratosphere of small body impacts as an astronomer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center before coming to NASA Headquarters in 2011. Previously a visiting astronomer at NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Maunakea, Hawai’i, she is also now the IRTF Program Scientist. She served as Program Scientist for the MAVEN mission to Mars and led NASA’s Solar System Observations, Planetary Astronomy and Planetary Atmospheres research and analysis programs.

Main-belt asteroid 115434 (2003 TU2) was renamed “Kellyfast” in honor of her contributions to planetary science. Known for belting out a song and producing YouTube’s “Hotel Mauna Kea”, she also enjoys Star Trek, Space:1999, crochet, and ham radio, holding Amateur Extra license class callsign N3XUJ.

FILMMAKERS

W.D. Hogan
Director

W. D. HOGAN is the director of the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. Collaborating with Oscar® and Emmy® winning filmmakers as an illustrator greatly influenced Hogan in the art and design of storytelling, helping craft unique visuals and performances in a variety of formats.

Beginning in music videos and documentary, Hogan broke into features with the independent film Soldier of God (2005) and has since worked with Fox, NBC/ Universal, HBO and Netflix. Hogan is a member of the DGA, IATSE and the ADG (Art Directors Guild).

Phil Groves
Writer / Producer

PHIL GROVES is the writer and producer of the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. Prior to becoming a film producer, he was the EVP of Worldwide Distribution for IMAX Corporation. While at IMAX, Phil brought IMAX’s slate of Hollywood event films to IMAX screens around the world, beginning with the very first day-and-date release of an IMAX DMR® title, Matrix Revolutions. In 2016, he was honored with the CinemaCon Passepartout Award for his “dedication and commitment to the international marketplace.” Additionally, he increased the reach of IMAX documentaries to more IMAX screens worldwide. Previous to IMAX, Phil was Vice President of Film for Loews Cineplex, spending over 20 years buying film for this national exhibition chain as well as Cineplex Odeon, and General Cinema.

Before his executive film career, Phil earned screenwriting credits or storyboarded a number of films including the comedy classic Airplane!, created on-screen graphics for television’s Wall Street Journal Consumer Newsline, and published comic books as writer and illustrator. During his childhood in Maryland, he was a passionate fan of space exploration.

Jini Durr
Producer

JINI DURR is a producer of the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. Durr is an award-winning producer with over 25 years of experience in the giant screen and special venue production. Her passion is bringing state-of-the-art technology to storytelling. Her credits include producing several ground-breaking films for National Geographic Studios including Mysteries of the Unseen World, Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure; Robots 3D and Wildest Weather in the Solar System for the fulldome. She was also supervising producer on Tom Hanks’ Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon, produced Roar: Lions of the Kalahari for National Geographic, co-produced Siegfried and Roy: The Magic Box and was VFX Producer on IMAX’s T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous. Durr is currently the producer of the first show for Madison Square Garden’s Sphere, the largest spherical venue in the world, opening in Las Vegas in 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Film from the University of California, Berkeley and is a member of the Director’s Guild of America. She resides in Culver City, California with her husband and daughter.

Donald Yeomans
Science Advisor

DONALD K. YEOMANS, Ph.D. is the principle science advisor for the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. Dr. Yeomans was a Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Fellow and Senior Research Scientist before his retirement in 2015. Starting in 1998, Yeomans was the manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at JPL, now called the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies, an office that is responsible for providing predictions for future close Earth approaches and impacts by comets and asteroids. Yeomans other professional achievements include being the Radio Science team chief for NASA’s Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) mission, the NASA Project Scientist for the successful Japanese mission to land upon, and return a sample from, a near-Earth asteroid Itokawa and a scientific investigator on NASA’s Deep Impact mission that successfully impacted comet Tempel 1 in July 2005 and flew past comet Hartley 2 in November 2010. He also provided the accurate predictions that led to the recovery of comet Halley at Palomar Observatory on October 16, 1982 and allowed the discovery of 164 BC Babylonian observations of comet Halley on clay tablets in the British Museum. More recently, Yeomans co-authored a book draft on NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program – a work that will be released as a NASA history book. Asteroid “2956” was renamed asteroid “2956 Yeomans” to honor his professional achievements and in 2013, Yeomans was named as one of the 100 most influential persons by Time magazine.

TALENT

Daisy Ridley
NARRATOR

DAISEY RIDLEY is an English actress best known for her breakthrough role as Rey in the 2015 film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. She reprised her role as Rey in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi in 2017 and was most recently seen in the final film in the trilogy, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker, directed by JJ Abrams. The film marked the final chapter in The Skywalker Saga and was released on December 20, 2019. Her other film credits include Ophelia, Peter Rabbit, Murder on the Orient Express, Only Yesterday and the upcoming Chaos Walking. She also served as an executive producer on the documentary The Eagle Huntress and will be an executive producer on the television adaptation of the Maggie Hope book series.

John Debney
Composer

JOHN DEBNEY is the composer for the IMAX original film Asteroid Hunters. An Academy Award® nominee (Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score: The Passion of the Christ, 2004), Debney has created a variety of works across many genres and as a highly collaborative artist, has worked with an array of top-level producers and directors across Hollywood films, video games, television series and documentaries. Debney combines his classical training and a strong knowledge of contemporary sounds to easily adapt to any project.

PARTNERS

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