Old 04-21-2008, 10:30 PM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default Private Efforts Fill Gaps In Earth's Asteroid Defenses

Hugh Pickens sends us to Seed Magazine for an update on Earth's defenses against collisions with near-earth objects (NEOs). The bottom line is that government is moving slowly on cataloging NEOs but private bodies are picking up some of the slack. "In 2005, the US Congress directed NASA to catalog 90 percent of potentially hazardous NEOs greater than 140 meters in diameter by the year 2020 but NASA has yet to allot funds to the project. Increasingly, coordinated private efforts are working to fill the gap in Earth's NEO defenses. Earlier this year, Bill Gates and Charles Simonyi donated a combined $30 million to the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), keeping it on track for first light in 2014. LSST will survey the entire visible sky deeply in multiple colors every week with its three-billion pixel digital camera, probing the mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy and by opening a movie-like window on objects that change or move, the LSST will also detect and catalog NEOs."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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