Target: Space agencies of the world
Goal: Make research and development of anti-asteroid identification and intercept technologies a priority
Recently, a meteor entered Earth’s atmosphere above Russia. During its descent it overheated and exploded with a force twenty times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, injuring a thousand people and causing millions of dollars of damage. The same day, a much larger asteroid, which, if it had hit the planet, could have caused worldwide destruction, passed perilously close to Earth, closer than the orbit of GPS satellites.
In the past few decades of astronomical research, it has become clear that the likelihood Earth may be impacted by a large, potentially apocalyptic, asteroid is much higher than was previously thought. In earlier times, it was assumed that asteroid impacts occurred primarily billions of years ago during the formation of the solar system. But better observation technology combined with new discoveries of underwater craters and new ways of understanding the threats posed by asteroid impacts have led astronomers and scientists to believe that a potentially catastrophic asteroid could hit Earth every few hundred years on average.
In the last few years, NASA has begun to run a program for finding and cataloguing all “near-Earth objects” which could pose a catastrophic threat to the planet. But as the recent explosion over Russia and the near-miss of a larger object have shown, merely cataloguing is not enough. Theories and potential technologies exist as to how a space program might go about averting a catastrophic impact if identified early enough. And now, a UN action team is reviewing the threat posed by asteroids.
Since it is possible to protect against such a threat, even if it is small, it would be negligent to the planet and its potential future inhabitants if nothing was done now to protect the globe and all its life from very real threats from outer space. Sign the petition below to encourage efforts to develop anti-asteroid technology and monitoring systems worldwide.
Dear space agencies of the world,
While I applaud your efforts so far to study and identify near-Earth objects that may pose a threat to the planet, I believe the recent meteor explosion over Russia and the near-miss of another, larger asteroid demonstrate the need to do more than simply observe. We must begin work immediately on technology that could divert or mitigate the threat of an incoming asteroid, proposals for which already exist.
Although some work is being done, and the Russian meteor is serving as a wake-up call. Anti-asteroid technology is not high enough of a priority for space agencies worldwide, even as a United Nations action team studies the issue. We must not wait for a massive tragedy to do something about this potentially catastrophic threat. Please commit yourselves to focus more intently on this problem.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: WikiImages via Pixabay