NASA plans to robotically capture a small near-Earth asteroid and redirect it safely to a stable orbit in the Earth-moon system where astronauts can visit and explore it. Is this part of NASA's search for potential "killer" asteroids?
At a recent Congressional hearing, NASA told lawmakers that it's time for the private sector to aid in the search for potentially city-destroying asteroids and meteors.
On the Space.com website, Miriam Kramer quotes Representative Lamar Smith as saying, "Detecting asteroids should not be the primary mission of NASA. No doubt the private sector will play an important role as well. We must better recognize what the private sector can do to aid our efforts to protect the world."
Astronomers have mapped the orbits of more than 90% of the potentially world-ending asteroids in close proximity to the Earth. Kramer quotes CEO Ed Lu as saying, "NASA has not even come close to finding and tracking the 1 million smaller asteroids that might only just wipe out a city, or perhaps collapse the world economy if they hit in the wrong place.
"You can't deflect an asteroid that you haven't yet tracked. Our technology is useless against something we haven't yet found."
At the hearing, called "Threats From Space," astronomer Michael A'Hearn said, "At the moment, we have the technology to deflect an asteroid, but scientists won't be able to use those methods without ample time to implement them."
Will the Congress stall and fight like hummers over this threat as well?
We should be comfortably traveling around in space by now--so why aren't we? The Master of the Key had an amazing explanation for that: The parents of the child who would have discovered the secret of defeating gravity were killed in the holocaust!