Thursday, August 13, 2009

This should come as no surprise.

NASA Falling Short of Asteroid Detection Goals

Without more funding, NASA will not meet its goal of tracking 90 percent of all deadly asteroids by 2020, according to a report released today by the National Academy of Sciences.

The agency is on track to soon be able to spot 90 percent of the potentially dangerous objects that are at least a kilometer (.6 miles) wide, a goal previously mandated by Congress.

Asteroids of this size are estimated to strike Earth once every 500,000 years on average and could be capable of causing a global catastrophe if they hit Earth. In 2008, NAS's Near Earth Object Program spotted a total of 11,323 objects of all sizes.

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Tilt said...

The human species likes to think it's so enlightened but this kind of shortsightedness proves it's not. Only dealing with the short-term is an animal trait, not a trait I personally would associate with an "enlightened" species.

The kind of devastation even a relatively small asteroid could produce is too abstract for the general public to comprehend. A scientist on TV can say it will be X times the bomb at Hiroshima, but who can wrap their mind around such things? And once every 500,000 years means it won't happen to them.

Personally, I'd rather let Darwinism take its course with people like that. I think if any effective asteroid tracking program is to happen it will have to be privately funded and not under the control of the government at all. If it were government funded it would constantly be under attack as "pork". The space program in every form has been under attack as such since Apollo 11 got back from the Moon.

I keep telling people you can't bribe an asteroid. If I wasn't stuck here with the rest of the nuts I'd leave them to go extinct. Oh well.

Aunty Proton