Print 48 comment(s) - last by NaughtyGeek.. on Mar 15 at 9:36 AM

The U.S. space organization does not have the monetary resources to track all of the flying objects that could pose a threat to Earth

Even though the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is able to detect and monitor most asteroids that are close enough in case of potential impact with Earth, the U.S. space organization lacks the proper funding to get it done within the deadline that Congress imposed in 2005.  Specifically, Congress wants NASA to detect 90% of the near-Earth objects (NEO) range from 140 meters in diameter up to more than a kilometer and a half.

The NASA report speculates there are around 20,000 asteroids and other flying objects that are currently in orbit somewhat close to the Earth.  But financial constraints will not allow NASA to detect, monitor, catalog and characterize all of the NEOs like Congress requested two years ago -- it is more likely that NASA will have to focus only on the flying objects that pose a real threat to Earth.

To accomplish the plan enacted by Congress by 2020 would force NASA to use ground-based telescopes that are used by other research and space agencies; the likely creation of a dedicated observatory designed specifically for tracking NEOs; and NASA to launch a space craft that would monitor a safety cushion around the Earth.  The report estimates that all of these projects would cost more than $1 billion, which is a high price that NASA cannot afford.

The Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii is one tool that is being used by three UK universities to help locate possible Earth-threatening asteroids.  The powerful telescope is able to detect objects from 300m in diameter, which is large enough to have a strong impact on the Earth.

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By Quiksel on 3/14/2007 12:59:55 AM , Rating: 4
Now we're gonna need Bruce Willis to sacrifice himself for the sake of humanity. Dang, can't we get some more funding for this stuff? Bruce Willis could DIE! We can't have that.

/cue up the Aerosmith power ballads and airbrushed muscles on Ben Affleck


RE: great.
By kristof007 on 3/14/2007 1:44:51 AM , Rating: 2
I thought you making the Fifth Element Reference but then I realized you were talking about Armageddon. I kind of liked that movie cheesy as it was.

RE: great.
By oTAL on 3/14/2007 3:11:28 AM , Rating: 3
Sure... he must have been talking about the fifth element cause Bruce Wilis really sacrifices himself in that movie...
You know... the romantic involvement with Mila Jogovich... Must have been really painful for him... poor guy....

/me tries to take of Leeloo of his mind... fails miserably...

RE: great.
By vorgusa on 3/14/2007 9:10:52 AM , Rating: 2
wow really makes me wonder about how many times Bruce Willis has saved the world... in movies of course

By Nik00117 on 3/14/2007 1:12:30 AM , Rating: 3
We should track them, and spend the money to track them. Asteroids are the something which we can stop from hitting us, but only if we know they are coming.

Rember 9/11 are we getting into that gear again? Saying ah it'll never happen. WEll guess what when it does will you be saying the same thing?

RE: Stupid
By m1ldslide1 on 3/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: Stupid
By copiedright on 3/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: Stupid
By Schadenfroh on 3/14/2007 8:39:17 AM , Rating: 4
Check your sarcasm meter, I am about an hour away from the beach in Mississippi, I really know how bad FEMA is!

Luckily, we have REMA (Redneck Emergency Management Agency) and thanks to them and their gas guzzling oversized trucks / SUVs (that people around here hate so much) and chainsaws, the roads in my town were cleared the day after Katrina by private citizens and not the government and trust me, after the storm.... the roads were screwed. (they do not call it the pine belt for nothing!)

RE: Stupid
By hubajube on 3/14/2007 6:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
(they do not call it the pine belt for nothing!)
I thought it was the bible belt? oh wait, that's Virginia.

RE: Stupid
By copiedright on 3/15/2007 3:58:46 AM , Rating: 2
I wasn't being sarcastic!

I follow a lot of foreign politics and I understand how the replacement of FEMA under the DOHS has crippled its response and rebuilding capabilities.

Lack of Priorities
By Ard on 3/14/2007 3:00:49 AM , Rating: 2
It always amazes me that NASA, one of the most important government agencies we have, is also the most underfunded.

RE: Lack of Priorities
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 3/14/07, Rating: -1
RE: Lack of Priorities
By mezman on 3/14/2007 2:13:20 PM , Rating: 2
Hahaha, you doomsday prophecy people are so f-ing nuts it's hilarious.

RE: Lack of Priorities
By yacoub on 3/14/2007 7:28:02 AM , Rating: 2
Cartoon Announcer: THIS LOOKS LIKE A JOB FOR...

RE: Lack of Priorities
By FITCamaro on 3/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: Lack of Priorities
By SmokeRngs on 3/14/2007 1:52:53 PM , Rating: 2
Thank Clinton and the American public. Clinton cancelled a lot of our next gen spacecraft plans and had the prototypes scrapped.

As much as I hate Bill Clinton, you're putting the blame in the wrong place. Congress drafts and approves the budget. A president may push for something to be included or removed from the budget, but it's Congress that has to write it in there. The president only signs or vetoes the budget passed by Congress.

I will agree that part of the problem is the citizens of the US. Most seem to be apathetic at best when it comes to anything involving space other than having satellites up there for communication or entertainment purposes. Without the public pushing Congress for increased funding for NASA, any funding increase will be hard fought and probably small.

I'm not sure the current setup concerning NASA is the best. I would like to see more private sector involvement and in more aspects than there currently is. This could increase funding for NASA outside the government mandated budget. It could also give a bit of a boost to the companies interested in civilian flight to space which would raise the public's awareness. This type of partnership wouldn't necessarily be limited to just the flight industry. I'm sure there are many other industries which see benefit to be able to travel to space or just some of the technology that NASA has.

Not all information and technology NASA has could be shared of course. There would be restrictions to many things but I think overall it would improve the efficiency of the space program and put it on a much faster track forward.

Quite Sad
By NaughtyGeek on 3/14/2007 12:11:15 PM , Rating: 1
And here in lies the true downfall of man. We actually put a price tag on something like this. How in the world can you put a price tag on the survival of the ENTIRE HUMAN RACE! Are there really people out there that would say we shouldn't make sure that this project is funded properly? The contractors that provide NASA with materials and equipment can't skimp a little on their overpaid executives salaries and bonuses to help bring costs down to a manageable level? Give me a break. If we can't afford a project like this, then perhaps it's best if our species does get wiped from the planet by some oversized hunk of rock.

RE: Quite Sad
By rcc on 3/14/2007 4:48:46 PM , Rating: 3
Another facet of the downfall of man. I notice you are happy to suggest someone else take one for the sake of mankind, but you didn't volunteer yourself.

How about if we all skip lunch once a week and send the money to NASA for this program. It wouldn't work, but it'd be interesting.

RE: Quite Sad
By NaughtyGeek on 3/15/2007 9:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
but you didn't volunteer yourself.

You either missed my point or your illustrating it for me, this is everyones problem and it those with the most that have the most to lose. I pay my taxes and from a percentage standpoint, I'm paying way more than the group I singled out. But anyway, the fact that there is any sort of financial considerations in a project of this sort is why we shouldn't last as a species. If there ain't a buck to be made, what's the point right? To hell with whether or not any of us will be here to see that pile of "wealth" you've amassed at the expense of the entire species.

By jmunjr on 3/14/2007 2:28:26 AM , Rating: 1
Why is this NASA's responsibility? Let someone else handle this..

By lennylim on 3/14/2007 4:49:30 AM , Rating: 2
Who do you want tracking them then? The same guys tracking the terrorists?

Ideally it should be an international effort. But we all know how well countries cooperate.

When it rains, it pours
By Griswold on 3/14/2007 5:12:58 AM , Rating: 2
The National Science Foundation plans to shut down the worlds largest radio telescope in arecibo, puerto rico, by 2011 - which also happens to be the most powerful radar telescope.

Its not so much the ability to spot new asteroids that makes this telescope so valuable for this task, its mainly the superior radar capacity that is invaluable to scan asteroids - you need to know what its made of/surface looks like to defend yourself against it.
The only facility with a comparable capacity is the Goldstone antennae complex in the mojave desert - albeit at a much lower resolution.

So why watch them all????
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/14/2007 9:40:49 AM , Rating: 2
The U.S. space organization does not have the monetary resources to track all of the flying objects that could pose a threat to Earth

This idea should help...If you can not watch them all, then just watch the ones pointed towards or coming towards Earth. :)

I know not that simple...

Under funded?
By Mitch101 on 3/14/2007 9:57:44 AM , Rating: 2
I think its that NASA overspends. For geniuses aka Rocket Scientists I sometimes they they have RainMan syndrome. While they can build a rocket they dont know what a cup of coffee should cost. But then most of america doesnt either. Hence 4-Bucks I mean StarBucks.

Outsource it to Russia Im sure they can do it much cheaper. After all Russia is now stealing tech support outsourcing from India now.

Allow me to explain.
By TheRequiem on 3/14/2007 6:23:37 PM , Rating: 2
You have all been desensitized by immoral conduct. Why would anyone allow a planet with a population of billions to be jeopradized by asteroids when we have the ability not to be? The fact is, the planet once in every some odd years get's impacted with enough power to destroy cities, countries and in the worst case event... the world. I believe $1 billion is a price well worth the costs if it will indeed help monitor any possible threats from meteors, asteroids and falling objects that could possibly impact. The U.S. has always been in a bind to protect it's interests and survivalism is by no means any exception. Saving the world is a bonus and hey, we can say that we saved every other countries a** if the unfortunate were to occur.

I'll skip the issue on Global Warming as I have nothing to say about that.

I am just irritated by this whole ongoing NASA situation for the moment. I am in a country engaged in a War with no end-in-sight against the middle east and some of our most prominent and critical governmental forms are being abused and underfunded. I find it highly irrational and very indicative to what this will ultimately lead us to...

send them elsewhere
By Nyu on 3/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: send them elsewhere
By Galcian on 3/14/2007 7:44:09 AM , Rating: 1
It doesn't matter where it hits, it will affect ALL of the planet, and if one hits the ocean, it will be much worse than Indonesia (depending on the meteorite's mass but something more like deep impact)... now, I know we humans deserve to go the way of the Dodo... but not in my time please.

Or imagine it falling into the great desert of Sahara, it would make a massive dust cloud that would kill us in a very short time.

Bush, stop wasting money on your stupid OIL war and reassign some funds to the NASA, that way the money to defend us from real threats will be available, plus we will have the added bonus that soldiers will be able to go back to their families!

By aurareturn on 3/14/07, Rating: -1
RE: Sad
By MrEMan on 3/14/2007 8:11:32 AM , Rating: 1
I see more and more scientists are coming forward and saying that man-made global warming is a sham perpetrated by Al Gore, globalists and the UN.

We could solve 2 problems at the same time if we just redirect the hot air which eminates from the UN towards any in-bound asteroids.

RE: Sad
By Chriz on 3/14/2007 10:08:46 AM , Rating: 2
Even if you and these scientists you talk about ended up being right and global warming is in fact not being caused by man....would you really want risk it? I sure wouldn't. I would rather be safe than sorry.

Even if global warming was not caused by man, we still need to change our ways, because even though if in that case our factories and automobiles didn't cause climate change, they still do affect the air we breathe. Just look at how many people have asthma nowadays (I'm one of them).

Regarding NASA and asteroids, I really do think NASA is underfunded. Look at how much money we spend on IRAQ, and we don't even spend close to that on NASA. Space is the future.

RE: Sad
By masher2 on 3/14/07, Rating: -1
RE: Sad
By mezman on 3/14/2007 2:37:08 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, no sale. After the fall of the Soviet Union, you and your globalist buddies need a new bastion from which to espouse your neo-marxist ideologies. Anything to suppress the prosperity of the west, right? Why not do so under the guise of environmentalism? Then you can call it a moral issue and remove any debate. No one wants to be amoral by supporting a global catastrophe do they? you've come up with the perfect mechanism for suppressing dissension. And it's working perfectly, unfortunately.

Hell, man. Even the original co-founder of Greenpeace has decried the third-world suppressing, fear mongering religion of anthropogenic global warming as a sham.

Asking the question "Do you want to risk it?" is another good way to suppress debate. What reasonable person would want to risk it? Well, there are many good reasons to risk it. Not the least of which is the disproportionate economic impact of taking the steps prescribed by the global warming alarmists. It also keeps the third world down.

There's a new term for people like you. Watermelons. Green on the outside and red on the inside. There's a good reason that China isn't being pressured into joining Kyoto the way that America is. You wouldn't want to stunt the growth of the largest remaining communist country, would you?

RE: Sad
By hubajube on 3/14/2007 6:05:41 PM , Rating: 3
There's a new term for people like you. Watermelons. Green on the outside and red on the inside. There's a good reason that China isn't being pressured into joining Kyoto the way that America is. You wouldn't want to stunt the growth of the largest remaining communist country, would you?
Outstanding!!!! Excellent argument. What I find interesting is that China's economy at the present isn't doing well? Maybe temporary but I find it weird that a country that's solidly in the growth period would experience any down trends.

RE: Sad
By Chriz on 3/14/2007 6:07:58 PM , Rating: 2
So you are saying that by me suggesting that we clear the air of dirty/harmful emissions and gases, I want to suppress the prosperity of the west?? I don't think so.

If worrying about our country having lots more money than other countries is more important to you than a healthy place to live, that's fine, but I don't agree. You definitely have some delusions of grandeur.

RE: Sad
By hubajube on 3/14/2007 6:27:03 PM , Rating: 2
It's not delusional to put issues in their proper perspective and then deal with that issue instead of instilling unnecessary fear and anxiety and going overboard fixing the issue. What should be done is unbiased research to get to the bottom of our problems. Then once the REAL root of the problem is discovered, perform research again to find a fix for it. We WASTE more time pointing fingers and getting all worked up over ANY problems that arise instead of working to resolve these problems.

RE: Sad
By masher2 on 3/14/2007 8:44:32 PM , Rating: 4
> "you are saying that by me suggesting that we clear the air of dirty/harmful emissions and gases..."

CO2 isn't a "dirty/harmful emission". Its the most important natural plant fertilizer, of paramount importance to life itself. Life evolved at a point in the past, when CO2 levels were 10 to 20 times higher than they are today.

> ...I want to suppress the prosperity of the west??"

I don't speak for you, but for the leaders of the environmental movement. And they make it most definitely clear that they consider economic growth and prosperity part of the problem, not the cure.

Quote: "We've already had too much economic growth in the US. Economic growth in rich countries like ours is the disease, not the cure". Paul Ehrlich, noted environmentalist.

Quote: "We must make this an insecure and uninhabitable place for capitalists and their projects. This is the best contribution we can make towards protecting the earth...". From Earth First.

Quote: "To feed a starving child is to exacerbate the world population problem". Lamont Cole.

Quote: "The only real good technology is no technology at all. Technology is taxation without representation, imposed by our elitist species (man) upon the rest of the natural world".

Quote: "If you ask me, it'd be a little short of disastrous for us to discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy because of what we would do with it. We ought to be looking for energy sources that are adequate for our needs, but that won't give us the excesses of concentrated energy with which we could do mischief to the earth or to each other...". Amory Lovins, in The Mother Earth.

RE: Sad
By fluxstar256 on 3/14/2007 9:33:02 PM , Rating: 1
I'm sorry, you're wrong.

CO2 may be good for plants and primodial goop, but CO2 IS harmful humans.

I suggest you stick a plastic bag on your head and breathe your own CO2 for a while to test it out.

RE: Sad
By masher2 on 3/15/2007 8:11:47 AM , Rating: 2
> "I'm sorry, you're wrong. CO2 may be good for plants and primodial goop, but CO2 IS harmful humans...

Do people not think before they post? CO2 is deadly to humans at a concentration of 100 thousand ppm. The current atmospheric CO2 level is 380 ppm, an infinestimal fraction of this. If we burnt every bit of oil, coal, and ever other carbon deposit on the planet, we still wouldn't reach the CO2 level during the Devonian, which was well over 3,000 ppm...a period in which plant and animal life both thrived, far more so than it does today.

Your own BREATH contains CO2 levels as high as 10,000 ppm, and a well-insulated and sealed house (which many people spend years of their life in) can easily have CO2 5-10 times the atmospheric level. Furthermore, a small amount of CO2 in the air is vital for humans and most mammals. Without it, the breathing reflex isn't properly triggered, and you're likely to die of apoxia.

Plant life depends utterly upon CO2 levels. It is airborne plant food...increasing it means faster, richer growth, and a more abundant biosphere.

RE: Sad
By rcc on 3/14/2007 3:40:18 PM , Rating: 2
Personally I like the theory that says the earth should currently be in a mini ice age, and global warming is off setting it. Fix the problem and it creates serious problems for the far northern and southern regions.

Yes, this is partially in jest. But there is scientific fact to support it.

Humans...we are so self-important
By msva124 on 3/14/07, Rating: -1
RE: Humans...we are so self-important
By ButterFlyEffect78 on 3/14/07, Rating: -1
RE: Humans...we are so self-important
By ted61 on 3/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: Humans...we are so self-important
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: Humans...we are so self-important
By NuroMancer on 3/14/2007 10:34:25 AM , Rating: 2
What don't you understand?

If you post, you cannot rate posts.

If you rate posts, you cannot post without it dropping your rating.

People read, and rate posts depending on what they think of them. If your comments are off topic, retarded, etc. You will get voted down.

By Seemonkeyscanfly on 3/14/2007 11:00:30 AM , Rating: 2
Ok, so each post is individually rated. Makes sense now.
The Monkeys

RE: Humans...we are so self-important
By NuroMancer on 3/14/2007 10:32:37 AM , Rating: 1
If you really think this way, do the rest of us all a favor.
I think you can guess what I mean.

By msva124 on 3/15/2007 1:14:05 AM , Rating: 2
I will, soon. First I will try and do some good for the world, then I will go.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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