Russia calls for united meteor defense

February 28, 2013

Asteroid (credit: NASA)

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin says the world should unite to establish a defense system against space objects that threaten Earth, under the umbrella of the United Nations, Space Daily reports.

The Russian leader said the threat from asteroids, meteorites, comets and other stray space objects should serve to “unite humanity in the face of a common enemy.”

Alexander Bagrov, a senior researcher at the Institute of Astronomy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the Voice of Russia such a worldwide defense system against space objects can be created.

“I think that it is possible,” he said. “The system would have to solve two problems — gaining enough time to detect a dangerous space object and to clearly identify its trajectory.”

A relatively small space-based telescope would be sufficient not only to detect dangerous cosmic bodies but also to and calculate their orbits and provide an opportunity to counter them, Bagrov said.

However, Rogozin is concerned that  if such a worldwide anti-asteroid system were to be established, some countries could use it as a pretext to deploy nuclear weapons in space.