Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Heavenly bodies

$4 million ... that was what NASA had originally budgetted for Earth defence a few years ago - and while that could be defence against anything (or anyone), I think they meant asteroids and other space bodies.  Well, the good news is that the budget has just been increased to $50 million and there is now a Department at NASA with the responsibility of keeping us all safe from "potential doomsday asteroids".
As the report said: The Planetary Defense Coordination Office will oversee all of the space agency's efforts to detect and track near-earth objects, and coordinate with other federal agencies as well as other nations if and when it becomes necessary. 
It doesn't say more than that ... so people can use their imagination to work out what that might mean.  The Head of the Department, with the title Planetary Defense Officer, would probably know though.
"The formal establishment of the Planetary Defense Coordination Office makes it evident that the agency is committed to perform a leadership role in national and international efforts for detection of these natural impact hazards, and to be engaged in planning if there is a need for planetary defense," Lindley Johnson said in NASA news release.
Word is that, closer to home, there's also a US plan to deal with the Zombie Apocalypse. 

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