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Russia's meteor  (Source: gannett-cdn.com)
NASA needs funding for small meteor defense

NASA told Congress to "pray" if a meteor similar to the one that hit Russia last month is ever three weeks away from the U.S.

NASA administrator Charles Bolden Jr. told Congress that the U.S. doesn't have the proper equipment to identify a small meteor (the size of Russia's meteor) in a House Committee hearing on Tuesday.

"If it's coming in three weeks ... pray," Bolden said. "The reason I can't do anything in the next three weeks is because for decades we have put it off. We are where we are today because, you know, you all told us to do something and between the administration and the Congress, the funding to do that did not - the bottom line is always the funding did not come."

The U.S. is able to detect larger meteors (and offset them a bit by crashing a spacecraft into them, thus slowing them down and changing their course) with plenty of in advance, but smaller objects are more difficult because the sun blinds satellites. That's precisely why Russia didn't see the meteor coming -- and neither did the U.S. 

Had the meteor not stayed intact for only seconds longer, it would have had the impact of 20 Hiroshima bombs once hitting Russia, according to a CBS News report

Donald Yeomans, manager of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office, said that the U.S. needs a space-based infrared telescope to see smaller objects coming. This particular telescope would work because the sun wouldn't be an issue in blocking sight of the objects. 

Yeomans also suggested ground-based wide field optical telescopes that could keep an eye on large parts of the sky at night. 

The space-based infrared telescope would cost "a few hundred million dollars."

However, government funding remains an issue. Bolden said NASA was budgeted only $20.5 million for its near-Earth object observation program for fiscal 2012. 

While NASA doesn't see any large meteors coming toward Earth in the foreseeable future (and current large meteor detection equipment would know decades in advance), small meteors need to be taken seriously as well to prevent destruction. 

The Chelyabinsk meteor exploded over Russia on February 15, 2013. It was estimated to be traveling at 40,000 MPH and was about 11,000 tonnes. 

Source: CBS News



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RE: Translation
By FaaR on 3/20/2013 5:31:09 PM , Rating: 3
What enormous socialist spending spree would that be?

And regarding that lunatic ranting about climate change...whuh? What satellites would THAT be you're talking about?

Is this maybe another one of those deliberate joke posts you were talking about in that other topic? I sure hope so, because nothing you just typed makes any sense whatsoever. Except for that bit about SpaceX, minus the invocation of imaginary-bearded-guy-in-the-sky deities of course. Gogo SpaceX! W000t! :D


RE: Translation
By Reclaimer77 on 3/20/2013 6:12:11 PM , Rating: 1
I thought the meaning was plain. Under this Administration NASA has went from a space exploration and research organization, to one who now mostly studies climate from space. The greatest thing they've done has been to sit back and watch SpaceX do their job for them. Oh and a Mars rover /golfclap

It should be embarrassing for any American, regardless of political affiliation.


RE: Translation
By FaaR on 3/20/2013 6:44:21 PM , Rating: 3
Curiosity is a landmark accomplishment for America and NASA, I don't see why you feel a need to crap on it. Instead you should be proud. Shame on you if your disparagement of it is only because the rover was launched during Obama's reign. As for NASA itself, it has been abused by a number of past congresses and administrations, its goals set and re-set a number of times, sometimes deliberately unrealistically (like with Dubya's talk about going back to the moon again, without providing the funding necessary for it.) Obama is not unique in this regard.

Maybe when you guys finally wind down your imperialist wars of aggression in both the middle east and asia you'll be able to fund space exploration more comprehensively again. I for one sure hope so. Money is so much better spent discovering the universe (even if only in the immediate vicinity of planet earth), than it is when spent on blowing people to bits.

Here's an interesting story at Ars Technica with ties to past american greatnesses, which you might like to read: http://arstechnica.com/science/2013/03/moon-rocket...

Depressingly perhaps, it again involves private sector billionaire entrepreneurs, but maybe such is the future from here on out, who can say.


RE: Translation
By Reclaimer77 on 3/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: Translation
By FaaR on 3/20/2013 7:14:31 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, because nobody who wasn't born inside arbitrarily drawn lines on a map could possibly know anything about what goes on inside said arbitrary lines!

Wow. Just...wow. Your personal level of crazy is apparantly even higher than anyone could possibly have guessed.


RE: Translation
By Reclaimer77 on 3/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: Translation
By Jamundo on 3/20/2013 8:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
Don't you find it ironic that you're calling someone rude and offensive and then proceed to totally fly off the handle? His previous comment before the imperialist stuff was all rather factual. Yes the comments about imperialism were slightly rude. You however feel compelled to go 5 levels beyond. How are people suppose to take you seriously when all your comments are so radical, and you always predictably will blame everything on Obama/Democrats/enviromentalist/climate scientists, etc.

Like someone said earlier budget cuts to NASA have been done on both sides. Also from what I've read it's that they needed funding for new telescopes which I'm fairly certain don't get used to test for climate. Not only that it's not like a satellite used to monitor space is able to monitor climate and vice versa just by orientating them towards earth or space.


RE: Translation
By Samus on 3/20/2013 10:35:58 PM , Rating: 1
Reclaimer - keep your unwanted opinions off here and bring them over to Fox News where your other club members give a crap.


RE: Translation
By Cluebat on 3/21/2013 7:49:42 AM , Rating: 4
This forum should be open to all opinions. Even angry ones. If you don't like it, go back to Democratic Underground.

There are many facts in his angry rant.


RE: Translation
By JPForums on 3/21/2013 10:02:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
There are many facts in his angry rant.
There are plenty of facts on both side, but it seems neither are particularly open to the other. Being angry doesn't make your facts less valid, but it does make it more difficult to get others to listen to those facts.

Obama has redefined NASA's role to a more terrestrial one of researching climate, investigating car manufacturer defects, and the likes. This has taken funding that could have been used to purchase said telescopes in the article. However, space observation satellites currently in orbit have no utility in being pointed towards earth.

Obama and the legislative branch (they might possibly have something to do with it as well I think) have cut spending to NASA to fund his socialist projects. Since the question came up, I'll name just a few projects he (and in some cases earlier administrations) supports: Auto industry bail out, funding research into/subsidizing alternate fuels, nationalized health care. I'm not arguing for or against them, just pointing them out as a socialistic endeavors. FaaR is correct though, NASA is a huge socialistic endeavor itself. The difference is the end goals of the projects and NASA's extraterrestrial goals don't currently align with Obama's administration. It's not the first time, nor will it be the last.

All the funding, planning, and launching of the mars rover was done under another administration. Outside of the comparatively low cost of using what has already been paid for, NASA has done relatively little extraterrestrial work recently. As implied above, this isn't the first administration to downplay NASA, though I can't recall them ever being used for corporate investigations in the past.

There is some truth to the idea that you need to live in it to really understand it. It's not about arbitrary lines so much as difference of law, culture, and first hand vs third hand knowledge. For instance, it is less likely that FaaR would describe America's conflicts as imperialist if he lived in America. However, there is also truth to the idea that wars are costly and if they didn't exist the associated cost could possibly, though not likely, be applied to the space program. I would suggest that FaaR has exactly as much right to comment on American topics as Reclaimer has to comment on European Union or Chinese topics.


RE: Translation
By GoatFather on 3/21/2013 1:52:45 PM , Rating: 2
Well I guess we know didnt pass high school world history. Socialism has become a convenient label for the ignorant who are only interested in the politics of fear.


RE: Translation
By superflex on 3/21/2013 9:19:05 AM , Rating: 2
He presented more fact than opinion.
You, not so much, Samus.


RE: Translation
By mikeyD95125 on 3/21/2013 4:21:25 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You have no business discussing this from here on out. You aren't American, so you cannot possibly have a valid opinion about our Space Program or our politics. When you pay my taxes, THEN you can tell me what you think.


Ah so one can't have a valid opinion of another class because they themselves are not included in that class? Well I guess that throws out a humans ability to know anything but himself.

You're full of it man. You claim to follow logic and the rules of argumentation, but when you don't like something you just use ad Hominem and try to belittle whoever you're arguing against. You don't appeal to the truth. You treat these forums like a speech and debate class instead of a platform and means of contributing to learning beyond what is stated in the article. Others on this forum seem to get this, but you don't.

I'd consider paying your taxes if it meant sparing the rest of us of you telling us what you think.


RE: Translation
By Spuke on 3/20/2013 7:15:03 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Maybe when you guys finally wind down your imperialist wars of aggression in both the middle east and asia you'll be able to fund space exploration more comprehensively again.
So we're Imperialists? And Europe never was, of course. :rollseyes: Also, didn't know we were having a war in Asia. Guess I need to watch the news more often.

quote:
Money is so much better spent discovering the universe (even if only in the immediate vicinity of planet earth), than it is when spent on blowing people to bits.
Ok, reality check time. I do NOT agree with our foreign policy AT ALL!! But a FAIR chunk of the reasoning for doing what we do is so others don't have to. Your military budgets are much smaller because we do what you don't/won't. If we shrunk our military to your levels, you guys just might have to fight your own damn battles. Honestly, I don't have a problem with that and considering our fiscal issues (DOD is under a big budget cut at the moment and the cuts are to go on for 10 years) I see that as a REAL possibility. People here are up in arms over government spending (which includes the military) and once we're out of the middle east, I don't expect much military involvement for a LONG time.

If you want a glimpse at the future of US involvement, look at how we're handling Iran and North Korea. I can tell you that 15 years ago, there would've been military strikes in Iran already. In all honesty, neither of those countries pose any threat to us, just to our allies which is the ONLY reason we're involved at all. I even see that role diminishing.


RE: Translation
By Reclaimer77 on 3/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: Translation
By JediJeb on 3/21/2013 8:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
We don't agree all the time, but I can agree now. How many colonies did countries like England, Spain, France, Portugal, and other European nations have in Africa in the past? For that matter how many of those nations had colonies here in what is now the US? Maybe the Europeans are just still angry with the US because when we threw off their reigns and found independence it started a domino effect that cost European countries most all of their colonies around the world.


RE: Translation
By Jamundo on 3/20/2013 8:38:19 PM , Rating: 2
You make it sound like Nasa's budget was only cut recently. The majority of the cuts happened under the Bush administration.


RE: Translation
By Reclaimer77 on 3/20/2013 10:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Translation
By superflex on 3/21/2013 9:16:54 AM , Rating: 2
Facts are hard


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