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NASA Denied Funding to Potentially Save Planet

FutureGM

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AP-

WASHINGTON - NASA officials say the space agency is capable of finding nearly all the asteroids that might pose a devastating hit to Earth, but there isn't enough money to pay for the task so it won't get done.

The cost to find at least 90 percent of the 20,000 potentially hazardous asteroids and comets by 2020 would be about $1 billion, according to a report NASA will release later this week. The report was previewed Monday at a Planetary Defense Conference in Washington.

Congress in 2005 asked NASA to come up with a plan to track most killer asteroids and propose how to deflect the potentially catastrophic ones.

"We know what to do, we just don't have the money," said Simon "Pete" Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Center.

These are asteroids that are bigger than 460 feet in diameter ? slightly smaller than the Superdome in New Orleans. They are a threat even if they don't hit Earth because if they explode while close enough ? an event caused by heating in both the rock and the atmosphere ? the devastation from the shockwaves is still immense. The explosion alone could have with the power of 100 million tons of dynamite, enough to devastate an entire state, such as Maryland, they said.

The agency is already tracking bigger objects, at least 3,300 feet in diameter, that could wipe out most life on Earth, much like what is theorized to have happened to dinosaurs 65 million years ago. But even that search, which has spotted 769 asteroids and comets ? none of which is on course to hit Earth ? is behind schedule. It's supposed to be complete by the end of next year.

NASA needs to do more to locate other smaller, but still potentially dangerous space bodies. While an Italian observatory is doing some work, the United States is the only government with an asteroid-tracking program, NASA said.

One solution would be to build a new ground telescope solely for the asteroid hunt, and piggyback that use with other agencies' telescopes for a total of $800 million. Another would be to launch a space infrared telescope that could do the job faster for $1.1 billion. But NASA program scientist Lindley Johnson said NASA and the White House called both those choices too costly.

A cheaper option would be to simply piggyback on other agencies' telescopes, a cost of about $300 million, also rejected, Johnson said.

"The decision of the agency is we just can't do anything about it right now," he added.

Earth got a scare in 2004, when initial readings suggested an 885-foot asteroid called 99942 Apophis seemed to have a chance of hitting Earth in 2029. But more observations showed that wouldn't happen. Scientists say there is a 1-in-45,000 chance that it could hit in 2036.

They think it would mostly likely strike the Pacific Ocean, which would cause a tsunami on the U.S. West Coast the size of the devastating 2004 Indian Ocean wave.

John Logsdon, space policy director at George Washington University, said a stepped-up search for such asteroids is needed.

"You can't deflect them if you can't find them," Logsdon said. "And we can't find things that can cause massive damage."

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Obviously $1 billion over several decades is far too much to give to NASA. Why save the world for that much when you can do it for a bargain? :lol
 

MarlinFan10

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Meanwhile, we're spending how much in Iraq? $1 billion isn't that much considering what an asteroid impacts can and have done to the Earth.

If we have no way to know where asteroids are in time, humanity is living on borrowed time, given it may be quite a lot of borrowed time.
 

The_Godfather

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I think it might be a waste of money as well.

I expect the human race to be wiped out before that anyway and it won't be from asteroids.
 

Juanky

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Could take some money out of 586.1 billion thrown into social security, the 394.5 billion thrown into medicare, 367 billion put into welfare, or 276.4 billion put into medicaid.

Science/technology on the contrary gets 25 billion.
 

Dodge

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Could take some money out of 586.1 billion thrown into social security, the 394.5 billion thrown into medicare, 367 billion put into welfare, or 276.4 billion put into medicaid.

Science/technology on the contrary gets 25 billion.

*Ding ding ding*

Winner!
 

prinmemito

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Could take some money out of 586.1 billion thrown into social security, the 394.5 billion thrown into medicare, 367 billion put into welfare, or 276.4 billion put into medicaid.

Science/technology on the contrary gets 25 billion.

The private industry heavily funds science/technology. Just look at the biomed and pharmaceutical companies. As long as we protect their patents it will be fine.
 

FutureGM

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I would rather see money going to social programs than something useless like the Iraq War. I had/have no problem spending money on increasing the intelligence budget so that they can go after terrorists, but the Pentagon's budget should NEVER come close to exceeding 50% of the entire federal budget (like it does now).
 

MarlinFan10

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Could take some money out of 586.1 billion thrown into social security, the 394.5 billion thrown into medicare, 367 billion put into welfare, or 276.4 billion put into medicaid.

Science/technology on the contrary gets 25 billion.

The private industry heavily funds science/technology. Just look at the biomed and pharmaceutical companies. As long as we protect their patents it will be fine.
Yes, but I don't really see how a private industry would be involved for what NASA is specifically asking for.

Juanky is right though, we are wasting trillions in these ineffective social programs that could be better spent elsewhere. I believe NASA receives about one percent of the national budget. No other government entity has contributed so much with so little to work with. It pains me to see all of that money thrown into social security and welfare.
0.7% of the federal budget is taken up by NASA, however people at NASA are brilliant and make the most of what they get, but are still hindered. Meanwhile, people in charge of the trillions going to social problems are morons.
 

OldSand

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Could take some money out of 586.1 billion thrown into social security, the 394.5 billion thrown into medicare, 367 billion put into welfare, or 276.4 billion put into medicaid.

Science/technology on the contrary gets 25 billion.

The private industry heavily funds science/technology. Just look at the biomed and pharmaceutical companies. As long as we protect their patents it will be fine.
Yes, but I don't really see how a private industry would be involved for what NASA is specifically asking for.

Juanky is right though, we are wasting trillions in these ineffective social programs that could be better spent elsewhere. I believe NASA receives about one percent of the national budget. No other government entity has contributed so much with so little to work with. It pains me to see all of that money thrown into social security and welfare.
0.7% of the federal budget is taken up by NASA, however people at NASA are brilliant and make the most of what they get, but are still hindered. Meanwhile, people in charge of the trillions going to social problems are morons.

True.
 

Jimmy42Jack0

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I would rather see money going to social programs than something useless like the Iraq War. I had/have no problem spending money on increasing the intelligence budget so that they can go after terrorists, but the Pentagon's budget should NEVER come close to exceeding 50% of the entire federal budget (like it does now).
ding...this is the only answer
 

Juanky

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I'm also not a fan of the war, but the social programs are just as poorly run if not more.
 

Passion

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We already lost Bruce Willis saving the world once I understand why they wouldn't want to risk so much again.
 

FutureGM

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We already lost Bruce Willis saving the world once I understand why they wouldn't want to risk so much again.
And a few other decent actors... :mischief2
 

Passion

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Thank God Bear made it back alive though...thank God.
 

Dodge

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Thank God Bear made it back alive though...thank God.
:lol

Take care of my little girl.
 

Passion

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Dont want to close my eyes
I dont want to fall asleep
Cause Id miss you baby
And I dont want to miss a thing
 

Fishfan79

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I wonder if when the Giant Astroid hits if President Bush will say God told him of it in their weekly talks.
 

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