Oct 28, 2013
United Nations to Adopt Asteroid Defense Plan
Earth is not prepared for the threat of hazardous rocks from space, say astronauts who helped formulate the U.N. measures
When a meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February, the world’s space agencies found out along with the rest of us, on Twitter and YouTube. That, says former astronaut Ed Lu, is unacceptable—and the United Nations agrees. Last week the General Assembly approved a set of measures that Lu and other astronauts have recommended to protect the planet from the dangers of rogue asteroids.
The U.N. plans to set up an “International Asteroid Warning Group” for member nations to share information about potentially hazardous space rocks. If astronomers detect an asteroid that poses a threat to Earth, the U.N.’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space will help coordinate a mission to launch a spacecraft to slam into the object and deflect it from its collision course.
Lu and other members of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) recommended these steps to the U.N. as a first step to address at the long-neglected problem of errant space rocks… MORE