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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 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.


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