Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Making an Impression

First, the good news: NASA officials say the space agency is capable of finding nearly all the asteroids that might pose a devastating hit to Earth.

Now, the bad news: There isn't enough money to pay for the task so it won't get done.

In the article, "Killer Asteroid Hunt Starved for Funds," (posted on The Discovery Channel News site) NASA is referring to asteroids that are "slightly smaller than the Superdome in New Orleans" that could cause devastation to Earth by either direct impact or by heating up in the atmosphere and exploding with the force of 100 million tons of dynamite.

NASA came up with several solutions for the White House:

A ground telescope built for the sole purpose of finding the asteroids for $800 million - rejected
An infrared space telescope designed to do the job faster for $1.1 billion - rejected
Use other agencies' telescopes at a cost of $300 million - rejected

Apparently, my government thinks that the money, time and effort involved in saving the entire planet just isn't cost effective. No wonder we get such a bad rap.

It's too bad that only a small number of people saw or were affected by the Tunguska blast of 1908. We may not be so lucky, next time, and it's obvious that we'll be unprepared. At least we'll have plenty of oil.

I think I'll see if I can contact Bruce Willis.


Cursed Tea said...

Since reading Bill Bryson's 'A Short History of Everything', I've often pondered this issue. Especially upon reading depressing things about the wonderful city that I live in: New Orleans.

What's Katrina compared with an asteroid!!

Enjoyed your blog

Chris said...

Does this really surprise you. Everyone knows W doesn't believe in science.

- you do know a new Die Hard movie is coming out right?

John Taylor said...

I agree with you - it's like the people "in charge" can't see what's really important.
Thanks for stopping by.

hi chris-
Unfortunately, no, I'm not surprised. It's my understanding that 'natural selection' clears out the weak - but shouldn't that apply to the stupid, as well? I mean, without having to kill everyone, of course.

As far as Die Hard (Live Free or Die Hard) - I'm am so psyched! I Can't wait to see it. The movie opens, here, on July 4 - rather apropos, I believe. If you haven't seen the trailer - check it out at