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.

27 January 2010

NASA Administrator Bolden: Recent Comments on NEOs


While the rumors, speculation, and debate about NASA’s future direction has exploded in the last few days, NASA administrator Charles Bolden has been out of the country, attending the Ilan Ramon International Space Conference in Israel and holding other meetings there. He did speak with the press there and provided some interesting comments about the future direction of the agency in a 10-minute video provided by Arutz Sheva.

Bolden also paid some attention to the issue of near Earth objects, something that got recent attention with the release of an National Research Council report on NEO surveys and mitigation. “One of my jobs as the NASA administrator—I didn’t realize it when I took the job—is to work in coordination with the Secretary of Defense for protection of the planet, and it means trying to locate and identify things that threaten the planet, be they asteroids or big rocks or what,” he said. Bolden said that NASA has not done a “very good job” looking for NEOs. The impact last summer of an object with Jupiter, witnessed by Hubble among other telescopes, got a lot of attention in NASA and the White House, he said. “That got everybody’s attention, up to President Obama,” Bolden said. “I think you will see us devote a little bit more time—I don’t know how, I can’t state definitively right now how much more money, how much more time, or anything, but you’re going to see one of the things that we do is devote more time and energy to understanding near Earth objects and things that threaten the planet from outside.”

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