Friday, February 15, 2013

We Just Got a Warning Shot, More Coming

This morning a small asteroid streaked through the Russian sky and exploded, breaking windows, damaging buildings, and injuring about 1,000 people, 40-50 of whom needed hospitalization. See the New York Times article. There have been at least three other hits like this in the past few years.

Here's some of my favorite videos of today's hit:

There is a truth that needs to be told: there are thousands of much larger asteroids out there that will hit us, we just don't know when. Before the next big one hits, we need to find it and deflect it. Finding and deflecting asteroids is not particularly expensive as space projects go, but the current NASA funding is pathetic, about $5 million/year (in a $17,000 million budget). We have to find these killers some day, why wait and risk disaster? Why not do it now?

If you want to help, consider donating to the B612 Foundation Sentinel Space Telescope. If successful this project will find 100 times more potentially dangerous asteroids than we have found so far (about 10,000). Once we find the next good sized incoming asteroid, funding for a deflection mission should be easy to come by :-)

To see how this relates to space settlement, see Paths to Space Settlement, Al Globus, NSS Space Settlement Journal November 2012.