NASA Lacks Enough Money to Track Killer Asteroids

Asteroid Ida
Asteroid Ida

Report: NASA can’t keep up with killer asteroids
Associated Press

NASA is charged with seeking out nearly all the asteroids that threaten Earth but doesn’t have the money to do the job, a federal report says.

That’s because even though Congress assigned the space agency this mission four years ago, it never gave NASA money to build the necessary telescopes, the new National Academy of Sciences report says. Specifically, NASA has been ordered to spot 90 percent of the potentially deadly rocks hurtling through space by 2020.

Even so, NASA says it’s completed about one-third of its assignment with its current telescope system.

NASA estimates that there are about 20,000 asteroids and comets in our solar system that are potential threats to Earth. They are larger than 460 feet in diameter — slightly smaller than the Superdome in New Orleans. So far, scientists know where about 6,000 of these objects are.

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