NASA Lacks Funds to Find Killer Asteroids by 2020
March 14, 2007 12:28 AM
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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.
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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Allow me to explain.
3/14/2007 6:23:37 PM
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...
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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