Inspired by the meteor that took everyone by surprise when it exploded over Russia and informed by the recommendations of astronauts, the U.N.’s General Assembly approved plans to set up an international body to protect Earth from wayward space rocks.
The International Asteroid Warning Group, Scientific American reports, will take over the task of monitoring space for potential threats. If an incoming asteroid is detected, they’ll pass on the information to the U.N.’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (a real committee that’s existed since the Cold War), which will then be in charge of sending out a spacecraft to knock it off-course.
Together, the two committees fill a void that, according Rusty Schweickart, who flew on the Apollo 9 mission in 1969, has thus far been neglected by every government in the world. The need, according to Scientific American, is urgent:
Categories: Europe and Australia