THE ONLY THING PREVENTING A CATASTROPHE FROM A CITY-KILLER-SIZED ASTEROID IS BLIND LUCK." -Ed Lu, CEO B612 foundation
Interesting to note is that asteroid research as it applies to on Earth is hindered by Red Tape. One might think why is that? Is it due to landing in another country or where no one lives? Well, no and yes. It doesn’t matters where it lands; it is in its reporting that there is a problem. It seems that while these asteroids that hit Earth are far more frequent than at first believed; gaining access to the data is proving difficult.
The problem is that while thanks to NASA we have many space based assets that watch Earth, the combination of them with the Earth bound assets, such as the International Monitoring System (IMS which is overseen by the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization), allows a more complete picture of asteroid airbursts or hits to emerge. The IMS has a global network of seismic, infrared, and hydroacoustic sensors worldwide as part of maintaining verification of cooperation with the nuclear test.
The IMS detection has expanded knowledge of asteroid impacts providing evidence that there are far more than previously thought. An agreement reached between NASA’s Science Mission Directorate and Air Force Space Command agreed on the public release of meteor data, even if that data were to come from secretive US government sensors.
After that details of atmospheric, meteor explosions were posted on a publicly accessible website run by NASA/JPL. Well, somehow it is no longer updated. Apparently due to budget and personnel reductions there were workforce issues that resulted in the data not being updated. Currently there are discussions about restarting the flow of data.
This is just supposition but while the data could be extremely important it isn’t as if there were thousands a day; to re-task an hour or so a week from someone to update this data seems relatively cheap and vital. Talk about the unsung hero – the person who has this job could be the cog in the wheel that saves the world. Kewl!