CBS This Morning: Asteroids Attacking Earth
Warning: you are not being punked. This is not a dream or a science fiction movie anymore. Asteroids are headed for Earth and we might be sitting ducks if Congress does not invest in technology to deflect them.
On March 19 2013 Congress is holding a hearing on asteroids. Sparked by the catastrophic, bus-sized asteroid that hit central Russia last month, many now fear more are on their way. Former Congressman Bart Gordon said that we are tracking 10,000 asteroids near Earth.
CBS This Morning: Mining Asteroids
Gordon is a lobbyist for Planetary Resources, a company that is tracking asteroids near Earth and in deep space. They hope to mine asteroids for their precious minerals and metals in the future.
The problem is that it would take billions of dollars to build booster rockets and go to asteroids.
CBS This Morning: Science Fiction Asteroid Research
G0rdon warns us that something could happen at any time. This is no longer science fiction, but a real threat. The movie Armageddon used a nuclear bomb to blow up an asteroid, which researchers say would not fix the problem. It would only cause tiny asteroids to come to Earth.
Instead, Congress will look at deflection plans. The next asteroids are expected to hit earth in 2029 and 2036. Mapping these asteroids would give us decades to work on deflecting them and preventing impact. No Bruce Willis required.
CBS This Morning: Asteroid Impact In 2029
Everything is on the table at this hearing. We need an early warning system for asteroids, which would cost $100 million. NASA currently gets $20 million from Congress to detect and research asteroids.
The 2029 asteroid is expected to destroy an entire nation. It could take out England or Germany. Researchers would love to land on this asteroid, study it and possibly paint it silver. The silver paint would cause light to work and deflect it from Earth. There is currently no budget to do these things now.