Oz asteroid-hunt at risk as NASA cuts funding
ANU offers only interim fix: report
A near-Earth object search described as the Southern Hemisphere’s only asteroid survey is under threat because of NASA funding cuts, according to The Canberra Times.
The report (warning: contains infuriating Fairfax auto-play video segment) states that the Siding Spring Survey, which under Rob McNaught has identified more than 400 objects (more than 70 of which are credited to McNaught), is operating on interim funding from the Australian National University following NASA’s decision.
Professor Harvey Butcher, head of the ANU’s School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, says there is currently “no clear channel of finance” for the handful of salaries and relatively inexpensive (a couple of million rather than a couple of billion) investment for a more powerful telescope.
The report states that 80 of the objects turned up by the survey are classified as potential hazards because of their size (diameter greater than 100 meters) and orbit (within 7.5 million kilometers of Earth).
Based at Siding Spring’s Uppsala Schmidt telescope, the Siding Spring Survey has been working in conjunction with Arizona University’s Catalina Sky Survey.
McNaught told The Canberra Times that he has contacted Chris Evans (Minister for Science and Research) and Greg Combet (Minister for Industry and Innovation) to try and obtain Australian government funds to continue the sky survey. ®
Three months ago Australia's federal politicians were given an annual salary boost averaging $44,000.
There are 150 MPs in the House of Representative, and 76 in the senate.
That comes to a total annual pay rise of $9,944,000.00. There's your funding, right there.
Pass the hat around.
Yeah fuck it......
Natural disasters like these are not the kinds of things that I'd like to be saying, "I told you so".
Personally while all this political posturing and war profiteering goes on, I wish these idiot fucks would start developing their ICBM's and such like to be useful in longer range icy cold / stinking hot - deep space missions lasting anything up to a year or two, and to be designed for hyper velocity impacts / detonations...
And to start launching these fuckers at all the flybys for target practice....
"Like a bunch of kids lined up with stones, throwing them at empty bottles".
"Ohhhh noooo we can't do that" - the officious dickheads reply....
20 years later... one big fat 500 meter across ateroid pops out of the darkness of space, and sucker punches the Washington, the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and NASA - in one HUGE........
Ummm "most of the USA becomes extinct blast".
Yes, we can do something about even the big ones. Once they have been detected and the computer simulations of the orbit tells us it is going to hit, a mission will be launched to move the thing out of the road. It may not be so dramatic as hollywood would have you believe but the USA would get such a huge global surge in support that the cost of the mission would be well worth it.