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Unformatted text preview: litical upside to funding defense against “once-in-anepoch” event Dynamic Patterns Research, 11 (4-12-11, “Protecting the Planet Requires Heroes, Money, Citizen Scientists”,, accessed 6-30-11) There are many issues that NASA must juggle with here, including political, financial, and scientific. Who is willing to risk one’s political capital to champion the destruction of once-in-an-epoch giant fireballs in the sky, albeit one that can destroy our civilization as we know it? How much of taxpayer dollars can be appropriated to a once-in-an-epoch event, albeit one that can destroy our civilization as we know it? And, with deflection technology really already at hand, how professionally interesting is it to track and monitor orbiting rocks, since a Nobel Prize doesn’t target too many rocks these days? The bottom line is that the political will and the money are not available from the United States federal government, so the financing of advancing technology–well in advance of pending doom–is not really an option right now, and will likely continue to not be an option for some time. Methods of averting potentially impacting objects have already been proposed, and should be reasonable to implement without too much of a technological leap, if any, although the funding factor will always be an application killer. In fact, according the the task force’s minutes, NASA should stay out of the direct defensive activities, and leave that to those who know how to defend, like the Air Force. Of course, the United States is already over-criticized for being the police force of the world, so why should it now have to be the defender of the planet and of all civilization? Research on methods of saving Planet Earth from an asteroid on a collision course has been in consideration for quite some time . It seems, however, that only within the past decade have more serious efforts toward planning for a global response been accomplished. Assuming we would have enough warning of a future collision generated from extensive tracking and precise, long-term orbit predictions, the focus has been on deflection of asteroids as opposed to all-out destruction. (As suggested above, even if you could blow up an asteroid to some extent, you will likely only fragment it into an unlimited number of additional asteroids, all still right on target.) By 2004, it seemed that a surge of recommendations and proposals came out of the woodwork, probably due in large part to the invigorated efforts of Mr. Schweickart. The threat is certainly real, but the realities of actually doing anything about it might be even more insurmountable. Gonzaga Debate Institute 2011 173 Mercury Politics Planetary Defense – Political Capital (3/3) Planetary defense has little support – threat perception low, and it’s perceived as ploy to nuclearize space Gerrard, environmental lawyer and Yale School of Forestry and Environ...
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