This area will cover relevant news of the threat to the planet from Near Earth Objects (NEOs) including concepts and designs for mitigation. All opinions are those of the author.

22 June 2008

Additional Notes on H.R. 6063

Here are some additional items on H.R. 60603 related to NEOs not mentioned in the previous post. We will see how the Senate reacts to this and then the final compromise legislation. Specific items of interest include the following:

1. Authorizes $2,000,000 to continue planetary radar operations at the Arecibo Observatory in support of the Near-Earth Object program

2. In SEC. 1106. INNOVATION PRIZES. there were comments related to the use of innovation prizes (the NASA Centennial Challenges program). There was a specific item that stated the following:

(a) In General- Prizes can play a useful role in encouraging innovation in the development of technologies and products that can assist NASA in its aeronautics and space activities, and the use of such prizes by NASA should be encouraged.

(b) Amendments- Section 314 of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 is amended--

(1) by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:

`(b) Topics- In selecting topics for prize competitions, the Administrator shall consult widely both within and outside the Federal Government, and may empanel advisory committees. The Administrator shall give consideration to prize goals such as the demonstration of the ability to provide energy to the lunar surface from space-based solar power systems, demonstration of innovative near-Earth object survey and deflection strategies, and innovative approaches to improving the safety and efficiency of aviation systems.'; and

(2) in subsection (i)(4) by striking `$10,000,000' and inserting `$50,000,000'.

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