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Fwd = Asteroid Experts Say We're Not Ready

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  • Frits Westra
    Forwarded by: fwestra@hetnet.nl (Frits Westra) Originally from: baalke@jpl.nasa.gov Original Subject: Asteroid Experts Say We re Not Ready Original Date:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4, 2002
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      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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