Sectors

NASA seeks help to save Earth from killer asteroids

03rd May `14, 11:10 AM in Sectors

With nothing less at stake than the future of planet Earth, NASA has decided to crowdsource ideas to…

BDMS
Guest Contributor
 

With nothing less at stake than the future of planet Earth, NASA has decided to crowdsource ideas to detect and track asteroids that have the potential to wipe out life as we know it.

After a previously undetected, 65-foot-wide asteroid exploded over Russia in February 2013, unleashing the force of 500,000 tons of TNT, NASA launched a series of contests for smart folks around the globe to come up with ways to keep an eye on asteroids that could threaten Earth.

Currently, NASA estimates that only 1 percent of the millions of asteroids hurtling around our solar system have been found.

So NASA calls the series of contests that make up the Asteroid Grand Challenge “a broad call to action” to defend Earth against any number of asteroids that could be bearing down on us right this instant.

“Good ideas can come from anywhere,” said Ben Burress, staff astronomer at Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center, which is not affiliated with NASA’s Asteroid Grand Challenge. “There are millions of asteroids we don’t know about, so the idea of more information really is better. Are we going to be hit? Yes. The question is, when and by how big of an asteroid?”

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