Fwd = Asteroid Experts Say We're Not Ready
- Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
Originally from: baalke@...
Original Subject: Asteroid Experts Say We're Not Ready
Original Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2002 09:32:15 -0700 (PDT)
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Asteroid experts say we're not ready
Workshop highlights need for plan to counter potential threat
September 3, 2002
WASHINGTON, Sept. 3 - A doomsday asteroid could wipe out
humanity if it collided with Earth, but scientists said on Tuesday
there was little support for investigating how to turn aside a big
deadly space rock.
The United States spends $3.5 million to $4 million a year to track
asteroids and comets that might hit Earth at some point, but very little
on strategies to get our planet out of the way, said astronomer Don
Yeomans of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
"There's been very little money spent on mitigation studies,"
Yeomans said at a scientific workshop on what it would take to get out
of the way of an incoming near-Earth object, or NEO, as these potential
cosmic hazards are known.
Part of the problem is the lack of an actual hazard: Yeomans and
others at the workshop agreed that there is no present danger of an
asteroid strike big enough to cause cataclysmic damage to Earth.
But if one were detected in the future, there is no plan in place to
deal with the threat, Yeomans and others said.
"What if you do find one with our name on it? Then whose
responsibility is it?" Yeomans said. "You assume it would be the
military's, but which one? ... NASA's charter is to find them and track
them. That's it."
Full story here:
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