Tracking Asteroids is a Critical Investment.
The Committee on Science, Space, and Technology held the second part of a two-part series of hearings looking at the tracking, characterization and mitigation of Near Earth Objects (NEOs). The April 10th hearing focused on the most viable near-term initiatives within the private sector and the international coordination needed to identify and characterize potentially hazardous asteroids and meteors.
Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “Most troubling to me is the fact that of the up to 20,000 asteroids that could be labeled as ‘city destroyers,’ we have identified only 10 percent. And we are unlikely to have the means to detect 90 percent until 2030.
“We must better recognize what the private sector can do to aid our efforts to protect the world. This won’t be an effort of one agency, one company, or one country. And in these fiscally challenging times, we can’t afford duplication or the inefficient use of our resources. The more we discuss and understand the challenges we face, the easier it will be to facilitate possible solutions.”