Asteroid Affirmative

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Plan Key Now

And, there is a good chance that an asteroid might hit us before 2200 – Funding now key to any chance at success

Firth 10 (Niall; Bio-Tech editor,, Massive asteroid could hit Earth in 2182, warn scientists, July 28th 2010, Accessed 7/1/11, AH)

A massive asteroid might crash into Earth in the year 2182, scientists have warned. The asteroid, called 1999 RQ36, has a 1-in-1,000 chance of actually hitting the Earth at some point, before the year 2200 but is most likely to hit us on 24th September 2182. It was first discovered in 1999 and is more than 1,800 feet across. If an asteroid of this size hit the Earth it would cause widespread devastation and possible mass extinction. And scientists say that any attempt to try and divert the asteroid will have to take place more than 100 years before it is due to hit to have any chance of success. If the asteroid had not been spotted until after 2080 it would be impossible to divert it from its target, they warned in a new research paper. While the odds may seem long, they are far shorter than that of the asteroid Apophis, which currently has a 1 in 250,000 chance of striking Earth in 2036. A competition was launched in 2008 by the Planetary Society for designs for a space probe to land on Apophis and monitor its progress. Potential opportunities for the asteroid to hit Earth in the year 2182. ‘The total impact probability of asteroid '(101955) 1999 RQ36' can be estimated in 0.00092 –approximately one-in-a-thousand chance-, but what is most surprising is that over half of this chance (0.00054) corresponds to 2182,’ Sansaturio said. The asteroid is now behind the Sun and will next be observable only in the spring of 2011. Scientists have estimated and monitored the potential impacts for this asteroid between now and 2200 using two different mathematical models


US key

Shiga in 09 [David, “It's behind you!” Staff Writer for New Scientist Editorial, 02624079, 9/26/2009, Vol. 203, Issue 2727, PN]

But participants in the planning exercise worried that if an asteroid posing an imminent threat to a populated area were discovered, and the situation were not handled properly, panic and lack of coordination could lead to chaos on the roads. Spahr was not involved in the exercise, but shares those concerns. "With a three-day warning, you can walk away and be safe. But it scares me, given how poorly we've handled things of this nature in the past," he says, citing the failure to fully evacuate New Orleans ahead of hurricane Katrina in 2005. "I'm picturing people panicking and driving the wrong way on the freeway, screaming 'Oh my god, it's going to kill us!'" To prevent panic and disorganised movement, it is crucial for authorities to develop an evacuation plan and communicate it to the public as soon as possible after discovery of the dangerous object, since such discoveries are posted automatically online and would cause a media firestorm.

US Key – UN/International actors are bogged down in procedural and political questions

Dinerman 09 (Taylor Dinerman is a regular contributor to the Hudson Institute writer on military and civilian space activities “The new politics of planetary defenseSpace Review Online, July 20, 2009. TDA)

While the US is obviously going to have to take the lead in any effort to detect and possibly deflect any celestial object that might do our planet harm, it will have to consult with others, both to keep other nations informed and to help make the choices needed to deal with the threat. Yet in the end, it is likely that the decision, if there is one, will rest with the President of the United States. He or she is the only world leader today with the wherewithal to deal with such a threat. This is why any planning effort that leans to heavily on international institutions may endanger the whole planet. The process inside an organization like the UN would simply get bogged down in procedural and political questions. US leaders may find that the system would be paralyzed while, for example, nations argued over deflection or destructions methods or who would control and pay for them. Precious time would be lost while nations would consider their own best interests in supporting one approach or another. If the US is have any claim to global leadership in the 21st century it will have to unambiguously take the lead in planetary defense. It should do so in an open way and be ready to listen to everyone’s concerns and ideas. But if the Earth is to be effectively protected, the ultimate decisions will have to be American. In this case “global governance” could end up setting the stage for a disaster.

Congress wants NASA to discover 90% of all near-earth objects and the U.S is the only country that has the technology for the detection

Mason 09(NASA Falling Short of Asteroid Detection Goals, By Betsy Mason, August 12, 2009 is science editor for, G.L)

Congress has mandated that NASA discover 90 percent of all near-Earth objects 140 meters in diameter or greater by 2020. The administration has not requested and Congress has not appropriated new funds to meet this objective. Only limited facilities are currently involved in this survey/discovery effort, funded by NASA’s existing budget. The current near-Earth object surveys cannot meet the goals of the 2005 NASA Authorization Act directing NASA to discover 90 percent of all near-Earth objects 140 meters in diameter or greater by 2020. The orbit-fitting capabilities of the Minor Planet Center are more than capable of handling the observations of the congressionally mandated survey as long as staffing needs are met. The Arecibo Observatory telescope continues to play a unique role in characterization of NEOs, providing unmatched precision and accuracy in orbit determination and insight into size, shape, surface structure, multiplicity, and other physical properties for objects within its declination coverage and detection range. The United States is the only country that currently has an operating survey/detection program for discovering near-Earth objects; Canada and Germany are both building spacecraft that may contribute to the discovery of near-Earth objects. However, neither mission will detect fainter or smaller objects than ground-based telescopes.

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