Tuesday, March 06, 2007
NASA Lacks Cash to Find All Killer Asteroids by 2020
The Planetary Defense Conference was told today by NASA that it could find nearly all the asteroids having the potential to threaten the Earth but it lacked the cold hard cash to build spacecraft or ground-based telescopes to get the job completed, according to AP.
But despite a 2005 directive by the Congress to NASA, the space agency lacks the $1-billion dollar costs associated with tracking and mapping the potentially catastrophic asteroids and comets by 2020. The expense of building a gravitation tractor to move a 'killer asteroid' may not gain traction in the funding sphere either.
A Japanese video annimation of an asteroid strike indicates the level of damage one could case the Earth. A NASA Flash animation on Space Rocks provdies more background. Human concern was raised by bearing witness to impacts of the Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet fragment impacts on Jupiter July 16 through July 22, 1994 seen here in video A, B and C.
NASA released a report Friday, March 9, 2007.