A wakeup call: what exactly should we do about near-Earth objects?

June 1, 2014

(Cover image credit: Don Davis)

The February 2013 event near Chelyabinsk, Russia “has sparked a realization that the incoming rate of small space rocks may be much higher than previously thought, and their impact greater than previously thought,” according to Near-Earth Objects: Responding to the International Challenge, an open-access booklet just published by Secure World Foundation.

The booklet is the first to both bring together the reviews of the state of research on asteroids and to summarize the various efforts to mitigate potential future threats. It also identifies areas of future research and development, noting that there is “an urgent need for instrumentation situated in outer space capable of surveying for large NEOs that could be highly disastrous to Earth, be it on a city, country, or global scale.”