Who Really Cares About The Threat of #Asteroid Impacts? You Might Be Surprised…

On October 25, 2013 by Mike
What’s everyone so worked up about? So there’s a comet. Big deal. It’ll burn up in the atmosphere and whatever’s left will be no bigger than a chihuahua’s head. – Homer J. Simpson

6a00d8341bf7f753ef0120a5f3feb1970cSo, the big question is, if Homer J’s not worried, should you be worried? I guess it depends on how you define worried. Personally, I’m not Worried, worried. Just concerned and taking the threat seriously (which is where PHASTT comes in) because we just don’t have enough information to relax yet. What follows, is small listing of some of the other people and groups that are also concerning themselves with the issue of asteroid impact.

The B612 Foundation is taking the threat seriously, and with some pretty serious people behind the project, they’re sure to make an impact. Astronauts (Ed Lu, Rusty Schweickart, Tom Jones), planetary scientists (Clark Chapman, Marc Buie, Scott Hubbard, Robert Jedicke, and more), physicists (Freeman Dyson), educators, business leaders… Are they serious? You bet. They’re hoping to launch an infrared telescope in 2018 whose purpose will be to search for ‘city-killer’ asteroids.

‘As you may know, I’m the co-founder and co-chairman of an asteroid company called Planetary Resources that is backed by a group of eight billionaires to implement the bold mission of extracting resources from near-Earth asteroids.’ Peter Diamandis said this, and, as we all know, 8 billionaires can’t be wrong (certainly not when their own money is on the line).

In February of 2013, the United Nations reached an agreement ‘for enhanced international coordination to deal with potential asteroid threats.’ Is the U.N. serious? I’d say that they’re a pretty serious bunch. In it, they recommend the establishment of a International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN). And it’s not like this is new for them either. Back in 1995, the U.N. had the foresight to organize the International Conference on Near-Earth Objects to ‘sensitize Member States to the potential threat of near-Earth Objects, given the global consequences of their impact.’

Stephen Hawking? Yes, he once said, ‘Asteroid impacts are the biggest threat to advanced life in the Milky Way.’ He’s a smart guy, I’ll trust him on this one.

And Bill Nye (The Science Guy) said, ‘If the Earth gets hit by an asteroid, it’s game-over. It’s control-alt-delete for civilization.’ The three-finger-salute, as it’s occasionally called…

Heck, even Bruce Willis once said, ‘None of you have to go. We can all just sit here on Earth, wait for this big rock to crash into it, kill everything and everybody we know. The United States government just asked us to save the world. Anybody wanna say no?’

I could keep going on but I’ll just leave it here with this quote by the American astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Asteroids have us in our sight. The dinosaurs didn’t have a space program, so they’re not here to talk about this problem. We are, and we have the power to do something about it. I don’t want to be the embarrassment of the galaxy, to have had the power to deflect an asteroid, and then not, and end up going extinct.
This is so true. We are ethically obliged to do something. The cost is minimal and the technology exists. So, let’s just do it! With PHASTT, we’re suggested a ground-based solution that could be rapidly deployed for a low cost. Although we like the idea of telescopes in space, the reality is that it will be at least five years before Sentinel is in orbit and there are a lot of things that could hit us in the meantime. This is where PHASTT can make a significant contribution!

P.S. In case you’re wondering, Bart’s comet did mostly burn up in the heavily polluted atmosphere over Springfield leaving a piece the size of a chihuahua’s head on the ground…


Lisa: I can’t believe that extra-thick layer of pollution that I’ve actually picketed against burned up the comet.

Bart: But what’s really amazing, is that this is exactly what Dad said would happen.

Lisa: Yeah, Dad was right.

Homer: I know, kids. I’m scared too!


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