Asteroid 2012 DA14 to make a close pass by Earth today

The asteroid 2012 DA14 will make a close pass by Earth today. Had it impacted the Earth, it would have caused nuclear warhead-class damage. The B612 Foundation is a private organization that is greatly concerned about this threat, and is attempting to build, launch, and operate a space telescope to be placed in orbit around the Sun that is designed to find and track threatening asteroids before they find us.

Some thoughts:

  1. One of the primary purposes of the United States government is to “provide for the common defense”. Defending against asteroids clearly falls within the scope of this activity. Why isn’t the Federal government taking on this responsibility.
  2. An MIT student project in 1967 did design work on an asteroid intercept mission. The MIT concept used Apollo-Saturn hardware. There is no reason why a similar concept would be infeasible today, albeit using modern launch vehicles.

 

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