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

U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's Comments on Use of Russian Radar for Asteroid Investigations

U.S. Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's recent visit to Russia had some space related themes (including NEOS). One of the items that the Congressman discussed was the use of Russia's RT 70 radar for asteroid tasks. Some Russian news outlets seem to have taken this to indicate NASA's intention to use this radar, which may not be the case since I am unsure if that is exactly what the Congressman probably suggested. This seems to be getting some attention from Russian News agencies. Selections from various articles follow...

U.S.-Russian cooperation in space was discussed during U.S. House of Representatives Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's visit to the rocket and space corporation Energia in Moscow, Russian space agency Roscosmos reported.

Rohrabacher met with Energia head Vitaly Lopota for talks that were also attended by NASA representatives, Roscosmos said on its website.

"The parties expressed the opinion that cooperation between the two space powers in major space projects, including the International Space Station (ISS), is very effective, while a flight to Mars could give the generations to come a lot more than manned flights to the Moon," Roscosmos said.

The talks dealt with the safety of Soyuz flights, the operation of the ISS and the future of Russian-U.S. cooperation in space, it said. "U.S. Congressman Rohrabacher said that he personally did not doubt the reliability and flight safety of the Russian manned spacecraft Soyuz," Roscosmos said.

"The U.S. congressman also said that Russia and the United States could launch large-scale space projects in the future. A Moon base project and the protection of the earth from asteroids deserve priority attention, he said," according to the Roscosmos posting.

"Russia, U.S. Could Jointly Run Space Projects"
04 June 2008

Link: redOrbit Article

Congressmen suggested a Russian telecommunication center in the Primorye Territory, in the Far East, could be used for early warning and detection of dangerous asteroids.

Perminov said the RT 70 radar deployed in the town of Galenki near Ussuriisk (the second largest city in Primorye) is a facility used by Russia's Space Forces.

Link: RIA Novosti Article

The House of Representatives of the US Congress approved the NASA budget in the amount o 20.2 billion dollars Wednesday, RIA Novosti reports. The budget bill contains an amendment about the strengthening of NASA’s cooperation with Russia and other countries within the scope of the program which develops protection against a possible asteroid impact. US congressmen plan to use Russia’s RT-70 radar for the purpose.

Anatoly Perminov, the head of Russia’s Space Agency Roscosmos, told RIA Novosti that the agency positively estimated the initiative from the US Congress. The official said that it could be possible to make a definitive decision on the matter only with the participation of the Russian Defense Ministry. Anatoly Perminov added that the asteroid danger issue should be discussed on the top presidential level.

"NASA to use Russian radar to save USA from asteroids"
19 June 2008

Link: Pravda Article

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