NASA Can't Afford Killer Asteroid Hunt
Posted on March 12, 2007The Associated Press is reporting that NASA does not have the $1 billion in its budget to track down killer asteroids that might cause us harm.
NASA officials say the space agency is capable of finding nearly all the asteroids that might pose a devastating hit to Earth, but there isn't enough money to pay for the task so it won't get done.The article says NASA already tracks large objects (at least 3,300 feet in diameter) that might get close enough to Earth to cause us problems. It is the smaller ones - which could still be very destructive -- that NASA can't afford to track. If funding can't be found than we will never know how many more asteroids there are out there like the 390-meter wide Apophis that are possibly going to hit us.
The cost to find at least 90 percent of the 20,000 potentially hazardous asteroids and comets by 2020 would be about $1 billion, according to a report NASA will release later this week. The report was previewed Monday at a Planetary Defense Conference in Washington.
Congress in 2005 asked NASA to come up with a plan to track most killer asteroids and propose how to deflect the potentially catastrophic ones.