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Search for near-Earth asteroids needs a speed boost

Emily Lakdawalla / Ted Stryk

Emily Lakdawalla / Ted Stryk

At the current rate that near-Earth asteroids are being detected, it will take astronomers 15 years to identify every one of significant size and even more than 10 times longer to characterize their materials, a new study suggests.

Astronomers should dramatically ramp up the sky surveys, not only to better prepare for threats to Earth but also to exploit asteroids’ contents, scientists say.

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