Sooo, remember when that huge motherlovin' ASTEROID exploded over Russia last month? (Yeah, right -- who could forget?!) Obviously it was scary and horrible (because over 1,000 people were injured), but it was kind of a good thing. Because at least it gave scientists the opportunity to bring up a rather vexing issue -- one we've apparently been ignoring for quite sometime: What, if anything, could we (meaning humans) do if a superhuge asteroid was headed straight for us? In, say, 3 weeks time ... in the direction of New York City?
That very question was posed to NASA administrator Charles Bolden at a recent "House Committee meeting on asteroids" (who knew they had actual meetings about this stuff?!). Bolden's answer? "Pray."
Um, that's a bit ... disconcerting. (Points for honesty, though.)
The problem, according to former astronaut Ed Lu, is that we'd need at least "a few years" warning in order to actually deter an asteroid hurtling towards Earth. But scouring space for destructive rocks takes money, and at the moment, NASA doesn't have enough. Said Lu:
"Right now we have no options. If you dont know where they are, there's nothing you can do."
Yikes! Scientists are hoping the incident in Russia will lead to increased funding for detection programs, but realistically, they need at least a billion dollars.
All told, the war in Iraq will end up costing us close to 6 trillion dollars.
Hmm, wonder where our priorities lie? By the way, when asked what kind of impact an asteroid that was a kilometer in diameter would have if it hit us, Lu answered:
"That is likely to end human civilization."
And unlike war, it'll get the job done without costing us a dime!
Do you think we should spend more money on asteroid-detecting programs?
Image via CBS