NASA Tells Congress to "Pray" if Meteor Comes
March 20, 2013 12:38 PM
comment(s) - last by
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.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
3/21/2013 10:02:15 AM
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.
3/21/2013 1:52:45 PM
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.
"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
Meteor Explodes Above Russian Urals, Leaves Nearly 1,000 Injured
February 15, 2013, 11:42 AM
Show Me The Money: NASA Needs $850 Million for Commercial Crew Vehicle Development
October 21, 2011, 12:00 PM
Nail Polish May Soon be Able to Detect Date Rape Drugs
August 26, 2014, 7:57 AM
SpaceX Falcon 9-R Rocket Suffers Malfunction, Self-Destructs During Test Flight
August 23, 2014, 9:36 AM
Texas Chosen as Site for SpaceX's First Commercial Launchpad
August 5, 2014, 1:44 PM
South Carolina Prison Finds Crashed Drone Carrying Drugs, Phones
August 1, 2014, 2:49 PM
NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Gains Seven New Instruments for Exploration
August 1, 2014, 1:30 PM
NASA Opportunity Rover Breaks Record for Most Miles Traveled on Another Planet
July 29, 2014, 1:38 PM
Most Popular Articles
Appalling Negligence: Decade-Old Windows XPe Holes Led to Home Depot Hack
September 8, 2014, 8:58 PM
iBend: Reports Grow of Razor-Thin iPhone 6+ Folding Like Origami in Your Pocket
September 23, 2014, 6:08 PM
New AT&T Mobile Share Value "Double Data" Promotion Lasts Through October
September 28, 2014, 8:32 AM
Update: Apple Releases iOS 8.0.2 Update to Make Up for Botched 8.0.1 Release
September 25, 2014, 8:19 PM
FBI Outraged That Apple, Google are Adopting Digital "Locks" to Protect Users
September 26, 2014, 1:00 PM
Latest Blog Posts
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
Space Terrorism is a Looming Threat For the United States
Apr 23, 2014, 7:47 PM
Facebook Aims to Provide Internet to "Every Person in the World" with Drones, Satellites
Apr 1, 2014, 10:20 AM
Retail Mobile Sites Experience Outages in Light of Simplexity's Bankruptcy
Mar 14, 2014, 8:48 AM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information