In February 2014, Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist and famed guitarist for the rock band QUEEN, began working with Grigorij Richters, the director of a new film titled 51 Degrees North, a fictional story of an asteroid impact on London and the resulting human condition. May composed the music for the film and suggested that Richters preview it at Starmus, an event organized by Dr. Garik Israelian and attended by esteemed astrophysicists, scientists and artists, including Dr. Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins and Rick Wakeman. The result was the beginning of discussions that would lead to the launch of Asteroid Day in 2015.
To insure that the nascent idea of a movement had global support, May then introduced Richters to the B612 Foundation, an American-based non-profit advocacy organization created to protect the world from dangerous asteroids through early detection. B612 co-founders Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart and three-time Astronaut Dr. Ed Lu, along with Danica Remy, Chief Operations Officer, brought to Asteroid Day a network of planetary defense specialists and global contacts. The four official co-founders of Asteroid Day are: Dr Brian May, Danica Remy (COO of B612), Grigorij Richters and Rusty Schweickart.
The Asteroid Day co-founders, along with Dr. Ed Lu, Astronaut Tom Jones and Dr. Mark Boslough, a well-respected asteroid scientist, drafted the 100X Asteroid Declaration. Early signers of the 100X Asteroid Declaration were global leaders such as Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal of the UK, musical artist Peter Gabriel and other planetary defense experts. The co-founders subsequently sought the endorsement of the 100X Asteroid Declaration by over 100 astronauts, nobel laureates, entertainers and business leaders around the world. The public announcement of the 100X Asteroid Declaration and claiming of June 30th as Asteroid Day began the journey towards a global grassroots campaign with tens of thousands of supporters across the globe.