10 thoughts on “Asteroids”

  1. In my opinion, no, this will not be the event that galvanized the nation.

    Horrific damage from a mid-Manhattan impact – maybe…or perhaps a nuke exchange triggered by such an event….maybe.

    But given the short attention span in the US this will fade away in a few days.

      1. As of September 15, 2011 the USAF GEODSS operated by MIT Lincoln Labs has the following record (1996 to 2011).


        All Discoveries 231,082
        NEO Discoveries 2,423
        Comet Discoveries 279

        All as a side effect of the USAF program for monitoring satellites in Earth orbit.

        The success of the MIT program (and a Congressional Directive) forced NASA to develop the Catalina Sky Survey in 1998, which after the usual slow NASA start, is now discovering about 500 a year.

        But tell me, if NEO prevention is so important why does NASA only allocate a few million to it, far less than the billions it spends on Mars, even far less than it spends on educational outreach? And this despite repeated Congressional mandates to do more?

        And tell me, why did NASA only started to look for NEOs AFTER repeated Congressional hearings and mandates in the 1990’s basically mandated they do it? Why did it take years for NASA to finally accept the mission of searching for NEOs?

        Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for REPEATED Congressional mandates, as in the 2005 NASA Authorization Act, NASA would probably drop the effort in a second. So yes, scientists have been discovering them, but is only because of Congress pushing them to do so.

        And where are the NASA plans about what to do when they find something? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to test out different strategies BEFORE one is needed at the last minute? Instead of just discussing them? Why isn’t NASA proposing a NEO mitigation program like it has a Mars program, or a New Horizon program? Yes, there was the Deep Impact mission, approved as a Discovery class mission in 1998 as a “bone” to Congress to do something about NEO mitigation although its main goal was understanding the composition of comets. But has NASA proposed since?

  2. Only if they were assault asteroids. Every recent event seems to get tied back to the medias favorite puppy in the road.

  3. Obviously, NASA already has a program that will deal with asteroids; outreach. The same kind of outreach they are doing with Muslims in order to foster “understanding” and “tolerance”.

    If only they spent enough time and money dealing with understanding and accommodating the asteroids’ cultural issues, surely the asteroids would no longer wish to hit us.

    They could even call it “Outreach on steroids”.

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