Everywhere you look, there are similarities to be found. For instance, who’d have thought that the problem holding NASA back from identifying and tracking large near-Earth objects (NEOs) in space is the same problem keeping me from opening my line of Beer and Bacon eateries? It all comes down to Congress not footing the bill, really, but at least I don’t have Congress on my back about it.
It’s been a little over a month since the double-billed meteor strike in Russia and the fly-by of the DA14 asteroid, so Congress gathered officials from NASA, the White House, and the Air Force and asked what’s being done to squash future NEO threats. After some agreement that last month’s episodes were purely coincidental, the seriousness of such an imposing disaster guided the rest of the conversation, which could seemingly be summarized as: No money, no progress.
In 2005, Congress gave NASA the explicit directive of NEO classification, with a goal of identifying 90 percent of these Armageddon-bringers, rocks larger than 459 feet across (140 m). But NASA’s chief, Charles Bolden, had few encouraging words for the space rock-headed governing body.