World Bulletin / News Desk
A California Space research group plans to build, launch and operate a privately funded Space telescope to hunt for asteroids that may be on a collision course with Earth, project managers said on Thursday.
The B612 Foundation - named after a fictional planet in the book "The Little Prince" - is counting on private donors to raise money for the wide-angle, infrared telescope and its operations, estimated at a few hundred million dollars.
The goal is to chart 500,000 asteroids that fly relatively close to Earth.
The telescope, called Sentinel, will be positioned closer to the sun than Earth so it can look outward and track approaching asteroids for months, Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart, chairman emeritus of B612, said during a conference call.
The technology exists to deflect an asteroid, provided it is found in time, added former shuttle and Space station astronaut Ed Lu, the foundation's chairman and chief executive.
The goal is to have decades of notice, Lu told Reuters.
"I think it would be embarrassing if we were to be struck by a major asteroid in the next few decades simply because we didn't choose to do the mapping that's needed to find these asteroids," he said.
Schweickart said it wasn't a question of if Earth will be hit by an asteroid, but when.
The planet bears the scars of past events. An impact 65 million years ago is believed to have triggered a change in Earth's climate that killed off dinosaurs and other life.
In 1908, an incoming asteroid or comet blasted apart over Siberia, Russia, leveling 830 square miles (2,150 square kilometers) of trees.
"You don't want to put off for some future date, if you can make a difference now, something which relates directly to human lives and public safety," Schweickart said. "That's why we've taken the initiative."
During its planned 5 1/2 year mission, Sentinel should be able to find 90 percent of near-Earth asteroids that are 460 feet (140 meters) in diameter or larger, and about 50 percent of asteroids 130 feet (40 meters) in diameter.
In addition to looking out for potentially dangerous asteroids, the information could be used for proposed asteroid mining projects and by researchers.
It is expected to be launched in 2017 or 2018 aboard a Space Exploration Technologies' Falcon 9 rocket.
Fears brewing in financial hub that further moves by government to censor content could scare foreign SME away.
Samsung's share slipped to 46 percent after hovering around 60 percent for five months.
He cited Facebook, WhatsApp and Snapchat as examples of online communication channels which were difficult for intelligence agencies to access.
Obama's proposal includes measures to allow for the prosecution of the sale of botnets, computer networks linked to cybercrime, and would give courts the power to shut down those responsible for distributed denial of service attacks.
Hackers posted threats and contact information of US military personnel.
Researchers said the antibiotic, which has yet to be trialled in humans, could one day be used to treat drug-resistant infections caused by the superbug MSRA, as well as tuberculosis
For the first time, frogs have been seen giving birth to tadpoles.
A hacker activist group known as Lizard Squad said it was responsible for the PSN outage as well as delays on Microsoft's Corp's Xbox network; Microsoft quickly fixed the problem.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's government wants to bring 1 million battery-powered vehicles onto the roads of Europe's largest economy by the end of the decade.
North Korea experienced Internet problems last weekend and a complete outage of nearly nine hours before links were largely restored on Tuesday.
#ICantBreathe and #IAmMikeBrown are the two top trending social media hashtags of the year.
The vehicle is the first one that marries the automobile functionality and software engineering into one working car. It will be tested in 2015.
Spanish news publishers want government to negotiate with Google.
The Russian space station Mir, launched by the Soviet Union in 1986, operated until 2001 and President Vladimir Putin is now seeking to reform Russia's once-pioneering space industry
Google's action caps a decade of acrimony with news publishers who blame the search giant for revenue and readership declines
Top climate envoy gives broad support for global deal but says country's "special circumstances" must be factored.