[FPSPACE] What should NASA be?[Scanned by MAIL]
Matula, Thomas L.
MATULAT at uhv.edu
Wed Apr 4 13:14:08 EDT 2007
Yes detection is a separate issue and currently over 5,000 new NEOs are found every month, the vast majority thanks to the LINEAR program at U.S Air Force tracking station at White Sands Missile Range.
Even NASA JPL notes they, not NASA, are responsible for the vast majority of those being found.
So while NASA is still studying how to build telescopes to search for NEOs the U.S. Air Force has them already and has been using them to find thousands a month, including some as small as 30 meters (city busters) and has been doing so since 2002.
Once again, if you want action give the job to the agency which has demonstrated it is action oriented and demonstrated it WANTS to do the job by finding ways of using its facilities and money in its budget to do so.
From: fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org on behalf of Jens Kieffer-Olsen
Sent: Wed 4/4/2007 10:58 AM
To: FPSPACE at friends-partners.org
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] What should NASA be?[Scanned by MAIL]
From: Matula, Thomas L. [mailto:MATULAT at uhv.edu]
Sent: Monday, April 02, 2007 4:50 AM
> The reason haven't discussed it in the context of NASA is
> because I don't think the NASA of today is the proper agency
> to be given the lead in NEO protection. NASA is a science
> driven organization, despite what David claims, and would
> simply study the problem to death as it has been doing since
> the early 1990's. I would give the mission to the U.S. Air
> Force which is an action oriented organization that would
> actual implement a detection and mitigation system.
You need to separate the issues of detection and mitigation.
Detection is an urgent mission to accomplish. We need to
detect sooner rather than later any object >50m that can
destroy a city of 50,000 souls such as Victoria, TX in a
split second. That involves launching a number of telescopes
into space, and also a number of transponder missions to
PHO detection is cheap compared to public sponsorship of
lunar golf links for NASA employees far away from home.
PHO detection could be counted as part of NASA's scientific
focus, although I would prefer it to be labelled global
Mitigation is damned expensive and not something you can
meaningfully practice. You could spend trillions of dollars
pushing nearby asteroids around, and yet in a real mitigation
situation - not likely to happen for centuries anyway - it
would help you as little as a championship in paintball would
help a high school student relocated to a humvee in Baghdad.
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