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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3/14/2007 8:44:32 PM
> "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.
3/14/2007 9:33:02 PM
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.
3/15/2007 8:11:47 AM
> "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
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
, far more so than it does today.
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.
"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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