How Would The United States And The Rest Of The World Deal With This Type Of Potentially Devastating Event?
Some theories exist that the Ice Age came about due to the collision of a space object with the Earth, causing a natural version of nuclear winter that killed off most living things.
While man has it within his capacity to try and prevent an actual nuclear winter from occurring, how can a space object hurtling at us be stopped? And who will do the stopping? Will it be someone like Will Smith sent up into space to plant a nuclear weapon designed to break the object up and/or change its course? Or will it be some other way?
Attempting To Deal With The Threat Of Near Earth Objects
A bill proposed in the Congress by California Republican Representative Dana Rohrabache is titled “To establish a United States Commission on Planetary Defense and for other purposes.” The Commission would look at Near Earth Objects (NEOs), identify the threats and develop strategies for dealing with this risk, and the potentially devastating result. The Bill outlines the following goals:
– Determine capabilities of United States Government entities, non-government organizations, foreign governments and entities, and international bodies to detect, characterize, and neutralize potentially dangerous Near Earth Objects;
– Identify and evaluate roles and responsibilities of United States Government entities to detect, characterize, and neutralize potentially dangerous NEOs;
– Determine United States effectiveness in leading international efforts to detect, characterize, and neutralize potentially dangerous NEOs;
– Build upon United States Government and foreign analyses, studies, and assessments, without duplicating efforts, to determine current and required NEO characterization and mitigation capabilities;
– Identify and report on technology development required to provide effective planetary defense from dangerous NEOs; and
– Investigate and report to the President and Congress on its findings, conclusions, and recommendations for corrective measures that can be taken to provide planetary defense. (Space.com)
At the end of the day, commission or no commission, what are some of the tools that may be available to obliterate a large object aimed at the Earth? For now the weapons in the arsenal include nuclear weapons, lasers and high order explosive systems. Tomorrow…?
Photo courtesy of AP.