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(USA Today)   Gov't: NASA, will you meet the 2020 deadline we gave you for tracking all the rocks in the sky with zero funding? NASA: LOL, oh wait, you were serious? ROFL   (blogs.usatoday.com) divider line 115
    More: Obvious, NASA, near earth objects, space missions, Planet Earth, Research Council, asteroids, nuclear explosions, rocks  
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14707 clicks; posted to Main » on 23 Jan 2010 at 2:22 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2010-01-23 12:30:50 AM
I thought President Morgan Freeman had this under control.
 
2010-01-23 12:58:20 AM
Maybe I'm a cynic, but what's the point of spending such money to track asteroids headed toward Earth? It's not like we can blast them apart, or evacuate a large city before one hits.

So basically this would just enable NASA to say, "If our calculations are right, on Tuesday everyone in Chicago is going to die." What is the benefit?
 
2010-01-23 01:10:39 AM
Epsilon: Maybe I'm a cynic, but what's the point of spending such money to track asteroids headed toward Earth? It's not like we can blast them apart, or evacuate a large city before one hits.

If we track one that is on a collision course early enough, we change its course by a tenth of a degree and it misses us.

That's why.
 
2010-01-23 01:37:53 AM
Epsilon: Maybe I'm a cynic, but what's the point of spending such money to track asteroids headed toward Earth? It's not like we can blast them apart, or evacuate a large city before one hits.

So basically this would just enable NASA to say, "If our calculations are right, on Tuesday everyone in Chicago is going to die." What is the benefit?


It's not about the OMFG PWN YOU NEXT WEEK rocks, at least not until we have the technology in place to deal with them. It's the rocks that'll be dropping in the Gulf of Mexico in 2014, and having several years to plan for evac or move the damn thing.
 
2010-01-23 02:24:18 AM
Man, this really rocks my world.
 
2010-01-23 02:27:12 AM
Well, we are all screwed, so we might as well have a party.
 
2010-01-23 02:29:05 AM
Epsilon: Maybe I'm a cynic, but what's the point of spending such money to track asteroids headed toward Earth? It's not like we can blast them apart, or evacuate a large city before one hits.

So basically this would just enable NASA to say, "If our calculations are right, on Tuesday everyone in Chicago is going to die." What is the benefit?


"Cynic" is not exactly what I was thinking.
 
2010-01-23 02:29:25 AM
Epsilon: Maybe I'm a cynic, but what's the point of spending such money to track asteroids headed toward Earth? It's not like we can blast them apart, or evacuate a large city before one hits.

So basically this would just enable NASA to say, "If our calculations are right, on Tuesday everyone in Chicago is going to die." What is the benefit?


No need to blast it apart or evacuate a large city, these asteroids travel slow enough that if detected early, we could easily move the asteroid enough to miss the Earth.

So in short, no need to call you a cynic, just an ignorant idiot.
 
2010-01-23 02:30:49 AM
Don't other countries have space-watching agencies that can help out with this? It's not like asteroids plummeting into the earth only affects the US.
 
2010-01-23 02:31:42 AM
irwhiteboi: No need to blast it apart or evacuate a large city, these asteroids travel slow enough that if detected early, we could easily move the asteroid enough to miss the Earth.

So in short, no need to call you a cynic, just an ignorant idiot.


Not quite, I know "Citation needed", but I'm pretty positive that even with the systems in place now that there is a pretty good chance that if an asteroid or N.E.O. were to come by or smash into us that it would never be seen until it was too late to do anything about.
 
2010-01-23 02:35:22 AM
Chulainn: irwhiteboi: No need to blast it apart or evacuate a large city, these asteroids travel slow enough that if detected early, we could easily move the asteroid enough to miss the Earth.

So in short, no need to call you a cynic, just an ignorant idiot.

Not quite, I know "Citation needed", but I'm pretty positive that even with the systems in place now that there is a pretty good chance that if an asteroid or N.E.O. were to come by or smash into us that it would never be seen until it was too late to do anything about.


With current setups, yes. If we actually you know, did something about it, then we would be capable of spotting them.

For example, the article stated that NASA was proposing to implement 2 satellites around Venus pointing towards the Earth to spot asteroids.
 
2010-01-23 02:35:36 AM
Chulainn: irwhiteboi: No need to blast it apart or evacuate a large city, these asteroids travel slow enough that if detected early, we could easily move the asteroid enough to miss the Earth.

So in short, no need to call you a cynic, just an ignorant idiot.

Not quite, I know "Citation needed", but I'm pretty positive that even with the systems in place now that there is a pretty good chance that if an asteroid or N.E.O. were to come by or smash into us that it would never be seen until it was too late to do anything about.


Um, I'm pretty sure that's what the article is about... we need to improve our tracking and detection capability, and it's not getting funded.
 
2010-01-23 02:35:52 AM
I assumed the headline was a joke.

It wasn't.
 
2010-01-23 02:36:28 AM
Please no more "Armageddon" movies.
 
2010-01-23 02:41:09 AM
You know, we could shave off 5% of the military budget and give it to NASA. That would be about an additional ~25 billion dollars. Or even better, add a 0.1% increase in property taxes and give all the revenue to NASA.
 
2010-01-23 02:41:46 AM
Wally Weaver: Don't other countries have space-watching agencies that can help out with this? It's not like asteroids plummeting into the earth only affects the US.

Some do. But most of the money comes from the USA and EU.
 
2010-01-23 02:42:18 AM
Maybe they can just get the Discovery channel to do it.
They cold maker it one of their "manufactured drama" series.
 
2010-01-23 02:42:31 AM
 
2010-01-23 02:42:45 AM
BalugaJoe: I thought President Morgan Freeman had this under control.

That's how you can tell you're watching science fiction.

never mind.
 
2010-01-23 02:45:04 AM
Epsilon: Maybe I'm a cynic, but what's the point of spending such money to track asteroids headed toward Earth? It's not like we can blast them apart, or evacuate a large city before one hits.


Yeah you can. We might not be able to tell what city it would hit a week ahead of time, but we would know for instance which hemisphere it would hit weeks ahead of time. That's enough time to warn people to get ready to evacuate when they do find out the exact impact location, hopefully a day or two of time to evacuate a city or area.

And even if you can't evacuate an area, having warning can prepare for the aftermath, so that important people can be secured, military on alert, rescue and other emergency services are prepared, etc.
 
2010-01-23 02:46:11 AM
Chulainn: irwhiteboi: No need to blast it apart or evacuate a large city, these asteroids travel slow enough that if detected early, we could easily move the asteroid enough to miss the Earth.

So in short, no need to call you a cynic, just an ignorant idiot.

Not quite, I know "Citation needed", but I'm pretty positive that even with the systems in place now that there is a pretty good chance that if an asteroid or N.E.O. were to come by or smash into us that it would never be seen until it was too late to do anything about.


I think there are many different types of rocks up there. Some slow, some fast, some small and some big. While we do have the technology to do something about rocks that aren't too big with enough advanced warning there are others that we wouln't be able to do much about at all. If Shoemaker-Levy had happened a few planets over there would have been little we could have done about it. The worst part is that currently we might not actually get any advanced warning at all. Your first indication of an asteroid threatening to hit Chicago, would be your sudden inablity to connect to any websites hosted in that area.
 
2010-01-23 02:52:12 AM
AR55: You know, we could shave off 5% of the military budget and give it to NASA. That would be about an additional ~25 billion dollars. Or even better, add a 0.1% increase in property taxes and give all the revenue to NASA.

You Godd#$n socialist! Stay off these boards!
 
2010-01-23 02:53:27 AM
The fact that we can't track potentially dangerous asteroids with almost zero funding right now is proof that we shouldn't increase funding. It's simple math people, wake up! Any funding of NASA just goes to the secret Military Industrial Complex Hegemony.
 
2010-01-23 03:02:01 AM
Cheops: secret Military Industrial Complex Hegemony.

SMICH?
 
2010-01-23 03:04:01 AM
NASA doesn't make any sense anymore. It's a joke.
 
2010-01-23 03:06:38 AM
unlikely: Cheops: secret Military Industrial Complex Hegemony.

SMICH?


So...if we give money to NASA...we get sammiches?

This is an excellent plan! I'm excited to be part of it!
 
2010-01-23 03:20:30 AM
grinderman: NASA Bloated military spending doesn't make any sense anymore. It's a joke.

FTFY
 
2010-01-23 03:21:48 AM
grinderman: NASA doesn't make any sense anymore. It's a joke.

An example of people arguing that a government agency is useless, incompetent, or incapable of performing its duties, then doing everything in their power to make the argument come true.
 
MBK [TotalFark]
2010-01-23 03:21:57 AM
AR55: You know, we could shave off 5% of the military budget and give it to NASA. That would be about an additional ~25 billion dollars. Or even better, add a 0.1% increase in property taxes and give all the revenue to NASA.

If you even HINT at cutting military funding, people will call you a gutless, terrorist loving, America hating, pinko commie who doesn't support the troops.

Solution: Make NASA part of the military.
 
2010-01-23 03:26:40 AM
AR55: You know, we could shave off 5% of the military budget and give it to NASA. That would be about an additional ~25 billion dollars.

FTFA "because for the past 5 years the administration requested no funds, and the Congress appropriated none, for this purpose."

i'm seeing a trend here. military good, science bad.
 
2010-01-23 03:29:39 AM
Chulainn: irwhiteboi: No need to blast it apart or evacuate a large city, these asteroids travel slow enough that if detected early, we could easily move the asteroid enough to miss the Earth.

So in short, no need to call you a cynic, just an ignorant idiot.

Not quite, I know "Citation needed", but I'm pretty positive that even with the systems in place now that there is a pretty good chance that if an asteroid or N.E.O. were to come by or smash into us that it would never be seen until it was too late to do anything about.


OMGWTFBBQthe main problem is anything that is going to hit us directly is on a course that's hard to detect because IT'S COMING RIGHT FOR US so the only change we can see is it's getting bigger instead of a slight list to one side or de other... obviously this means we should buy 145 F22's instead of 144 for a quarter billion a piece because it only takes 9 of them to take out Canada's entire airforce (that and a couple camo AA guns) yehaaaaaw we really got our priorities straight...

okay, i'm drunk, i lost track of my joke. nm. you're still ignorant if you don't see tracking objects as important, though.
 
2010-01-23 03:42:04 AM
I have an idea of how to fund it! Drop a big rock on Haiti then everyone will want to contribute to the "Chicken Little Haiti Sky Watching Fund"
 
2010-01-23 03:44:45 AM
unlikely: Epsilon: Maybe I'm a cynic, but what's the point of spending such money to track asteroids headed toward Earth? It's not like we can blast them apart, or evacuate a large city before one hits.

If we track one that is on a collision course early enough, we change its course by a tenth of a degree and it misses us.

That's why.


We don't have the capability to divert an asteroid even if we did detect it early enough.

Hollywood science != real science, so don't point to any of the several movies that show how it is done.
 
2010-01-23 03:45:06 AM
Lemme get this straight...You wanna me to track the whole farkin' sky? With absolutely no goddamn funding?

I think it's completely right for NASA to be unable to do everything with absolutely no money. Until the US government fesses up the dough, you shouldn't expect big results.
 
2010-01-23 03:47:07 AM
OgreMagi: We don't have the capability to divert an asteroid even if we did detect it early enough.

Hollywood science != real science, so don't point to any of the several movies that show how it is done.


And you don't think that, if we could spot one, say, 10 years out (I dunno if those are the asteroids we're talking about here but NASA *has* put out a couple alerts of asteroids to watch out for for much further in advance than that), we couldn't figure something out in that time?
 
2010-01-23 03:49:07 AM
Going to have to agree with trimming the military spending. Stop farking around in countries we have no business in, and put the money to something useful (even if it's not NASA - our pathetic education system comes to mind).
 
2010-01-23 03:49:09 AM
OgreMagi: We don't have the capability to divert an asteroid even if we did detect it early enough.

Hollywood science != real science, so don't point to any of the several movies that show how it is done


How about a news story from about 4 years ago? (new window)
 
2010-01-23 03:53:53 AM
Winterstar: OgreMagi: We don't have the capability to divert an asteroid even if we did detect it early enough.

Hollywood science != real science, so don't point to any of the several movies that show how it is done

How about a news story from about 4 years ago? (new window)


If had been on a collision course for Earth, we wouldn't have been able to do anything about it.
 
2010-01-23 03:54:40 AM
nexirae: our pathetic education system comes to mind

We spend almost as much on that every year as we have on NASA throughout it's entire history.
A few more billion for education isn't going to do anything.
 
2010-01-23 04:01:40 AM
What's that, you say? Humans are short-sighted morons who deserve to perish in flames?

Well, yes.
 
2010-01-23 04:08:48 AM
Epsilon: Maybe I'm a cynic, but what's the point of spending such money to track asteroids headed toward Earth? It's not like we can blast them apart, or evacuate a large city before one hits.

So basically this would just enable NASA to say, "If our calculations are right, on Tuesday everyone in Chicago is going to die." What is the benefit?


The rest of us can get out the popcorn before it hits.

/I keed, I keed.
 
2010-01-23 04:16:31 AM
unlikely: Epsilon: Maybe I'm a cynic, but what's the point of spending such money to track asteroids headed toward Earth? It's not like we can blast them apart, or evacuate a large city before one hits.

If we track one that is on a collision course early enough, we change its course by a tenth of a degree and it misses us.

That's why.

OgreMagi:We don't have the capability to divert an asteroid even if we did detect it early enough.

Hollywood science != real science, so don't point to any of the several movies that show how it is done.


Are you kidding?
Michael Bay can blow up ANYTHING!

Just put movie people on the project!
 
2010-01-23 04:44:19 AM
Winterstar: I have an idea of how to fund it! Drop a big rock on Haiti then everyone will want to contribute to the "Chicken Little Haiti Sky Watching Fund"

I had to look up Chicken Little (new window) to recall the story:

Unscrupulous Fox uses mass hysteria to manipulate for benefit but
some are saved by a squirrel

Fark vs The Media?

/Oh the Irony
 
2010-01-23 04:44:58 AM
NASA... the one government thing that's ever even kinda-sorta-semi-worked... and what does Congress do? Underfund it. Of course.

I guess we'll just have to hope that SpaceX and Virgin and those other private space exploration companies do the asteroid-spotting as a gratuity.
 
2010-01-23 04:45:13 AM
Astrophysicist here. I work on a project called Pan-STARRS (google it) whose #1 goal is to track every asteroid. We are doing this from a ground based telescope in Hawaii, so we don't do quite as good a job as NASA could do from space. But this work is being done.

Why is it useful?

Killer asteroids do not come from outside our solar system (mostly). There are a kagillion asteroids orbiting around the sun (mostly between Mars and Jupiter). Some have funky orbits that cross our orbit. Occasionally one of those could hit Earth. If we track them, we can predict these events decades out. All we have to do is nudge the asteroid years in advance and it will be in a different place when it should have hit us, and since these asteroids are in our solar system, we can (and do) send probes their way.

Unfortunately, these probes do not require Bruce Willis to sacrifice himself.

By the way, our funding comes primarilly from the Air Force. So it's not like the US government is ignorant of scientists doing this stuff.
 
2010-01-23 04:49:36 AM
bahr: the one government thing that's ever even kinda-sorta-semi-worked.

The TVA would like a word with you.

badassninja69: But this work is being done.

how small of a rock can you see from the telescope in Hawaii?
 
2010-01-23 05:14:26 AM
Oh crap guys I found one of the things they were tracking

i158.photobucket.com


/aisle seat please
 
2010-01-23 06:31:08 AM
www-rohan.sdsu.edu

/oblig
 
2010-01-23 06:36:16 AM
OgreMagi:
We don't have the capability to divert an asteroid even if we did detect it early enough.

Hollywood science != real science, so don't point to any of the several movies that show how it is done.


Actually, we do have the ability to divert them. NASA still sends probes and satellites up and they have the ability to launch other similarly sized items.

We aren't talking about rocks miles across. We are talking about rocks a few hundred feet across. And we are talking about catching them months or even years ahead of impact.

A basic probe could easily be launched that would meet up with the danger object and impact it to change its course. Although tricker, it would also be possible to have a probe gently touch down on the surface and fire a primary engine to push the object off course. The math is pretty basic and we do something similar every time we've docked with the space station.
 
2010-01-23 07:18:28 AM
crab66 [TotalFark] Quote 2010-01-23 03:54:40 AM
nexirae: our pathetic education system comes to mind

We spend almost as much on that every year as we have on NASA throughout it's entire history.
A few more billion for education isn't going to do anything.


totally agree with your sentiment, but throwing the money into education without changing the way we do things will do no good, we already spend much more per capita than the other nations and get worse results.

How about, not spend so much money on the military, on bogus stimulus pork, and on bail outs and corporate welfare. Spend some of it on NASA (although they need reform also), pay down some of the debt. And give the rest back to the taxpayer?

/not that any of that would ever happen
 
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