Congress Might Have Doomed Us All to an Asteroid Apocalypse. Thanks, Guys.
It Came From Outer Space
The last few months have seen several asteroids unexpectedly buzz our planet, a fact that has caused a bit of concern for Congress. After all, while the chances of a catastrophic asteroid impact are tiny, if one does manage to hit us the effect could be pretty bad. Like, end of humanity bad. So it makes sense that Congress would want someone monitoring near-Earth asteroids just in case one should come barreling towards us.
Hmmm. Who does Congress have to turn to when they need someone to watch the skies?
Whose budget has Congress drastically cut in recent years?
You see where this is going.
Back in 2005 Congress told NASA to “detect, track and characterize 90 percent” of near-Earth objects. John Holdren, President Obama‘s science advisor, estimates that there might be hundreds of thousands of them that we don’t even know about. But so far NASA’s only detected only 10% of near-Earth objects over 459 meters across.
In a Congressional hearing held yesterday, NASA chief Charles Bolden explained why. Turns out, Congress gave NASA a job but not the money they need to do said job. I’m sure they just forgot.
“Our estimate right now is at the present budget levels it will be 2030 before we’re able to reach the 90 percent level as prescribed by Congress. You all told us to do something, and between the administration and the Congress, the bottom line is the funding did not come…
The answer to you is, ‘if it’s coming in three weeks, pray. The reason I can’t do anything in the next three weeks is because for decades we have put it off.’
That was a NASA-level burn right there.
Jesus, Congress. Bruce Willis is almost 60. I’m not sure he’ll be able to save us from an incoming asteroid in, say, 2025. What are you doing?