Op-Ed: Good news for a change — NASA proves there’s a defense against killer asteroids
The Pentagon recently issued a report that suggests the U.S. military “can and will deter or even prevent an attack on any location on earth.” What does that mean? It means that the Defense Department is admitting that they have nothing to fear from asteroids and that, in fact, the Pentagon’s ability to fight asteroids or reduce the threat of a major one could make the difference between life and death on the planet.
According to space.com, “The report’s statement about deterrence of attack does not mention asteroids, but its conclusions parallel a number of previous reports from NASA and other experts that asteroids pose minimal threat to the planet, or at worst play a relatively minor role in the overall risk environment.”
In fact, the study by Michael Mann, a senior fellow in the National Center for Earth and Space Science at the University of Arizona, suggests that, “even if we do experience a catastrophic asteroid or comet attack, it’s safe to say that the threat isn’t as great as we might think.”
But, more importantly for our purposes, this makes NASA’s job of forecasting future threats a little easier. With that in mind, we decided to have a look at how the space agency is preparing for the threats that could surface from an asteroid or another space rock in the future.
Mann goes on to write:
“The Pentagon report also makes clear that ‘even if we do experience a catastrophic asteroid or comet attack, it’s safe to say that the threat isn’t as great as we might think’. What is it about this statement that gives it rhetorical weight? The answer is simple: The threat of an asteroid or comet impact is not imminent. The Pentagon study argues that the threat is ‘likely to occur in the future, but the likelihood of its occurrence in the near term is low’.
What does this mean? The reason for this assumption is that it’s necessary to assume a worst