Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Remembering Chelyabinsk

B612 co-founder Ed Lu on asteroids:
Two years ago on this date, an asteroid just 60 feet across exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in Russia.
The Chelyabinsk event took place less than a year after our announcement of our intent to construct and launch an infrared deep-space telescope called Sentinel to discover asteroids for the purpose of planetary defense. The relevancy of our mission immediately became even more obvious. As the recently retired former head of JPL’s NEO Program, Donald Yeomans, famously said when talking about the best way to deal with Near-Earth Asteroids that might pose a threat to Earth: “Find them early, find them early, find them early…”. That advice has been the mantra of the B612 Foundation’s Sentinel Mission ever since our founding.
This seemingly niche area of public (and private) policy is wildly underfunded and underappreciated in politics and the media, and is the single most important topic in public affairs today.

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