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.
The business side of the new operating system was debuted Tuesday. In the spring, Microsoft will reveal consumer capabilities.
Atlas will give marketers access to Facebook's user data that they can use for specific ad campaigns.
The European Aviation Safety Agency allowed European airlines to permit the use of electronic devices throughout the whole flight
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Turkish-made electric car traveled 2,500 kilometers (about 1553 miles) to six cities and cost only 37.5 Turkish liras (about $17) since September 15.
Web users will face criminal action for spreading "false" information aimed at discrediting the government, the official KPL news agency said.
"All are welcome, regardless of religion, nationality or occupation, to contact our organization -- Mossad -- to work for us or to be involved in activities which could bring great personal benefit," reads the new "Contact us" section of the Mossad website
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Chief prosecutor Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei accused Communications Minister Mahmoud Vaezi of failing to unplug social networking sites and apps "with immoral and criminal content."
Promising 500km on just four hours' charge, the 'T-1', designed and produced by staff and pupils at Istanbul University arrives in eastern city of Erzurum during nationwide tour.
Blind people say the KNFB Reader app will enable a new level of engagement in everyday life, from reading menus in restaurants to browsing handouts in the classroom.
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The Senate Armed Services Committee's year-long probe found the military's U.S. Transportation Command, or Transcom, was aware of only two out of at least 20 such cyber intrusions within a single year.
The new study revealed the role of hunter-gatherers from the Siberian region who the scientists called "ancient north Eurasians."
The iPad is expected to have a 9.7 inch screen, while the new version of the iPad mini will have a 7.9 inch screen, Bloomberg earlier reported