U.S. not prepared for possible asteroid strike, group says
On the 100th anniversary of the devastating Tunguska event in Siberia, scientists and an Orange County congressman urge the government to take further defensive measures against near-Earth objects.
By John Johnson
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 5, 2008
A group of scientists, joined by a member of Congress, used the 100th anniversary of the Tunguska asteroid event this week to draw attention to their belief that the United States is not doing enough to defend the planet against the dangers posed by near-Earth objects.
"We are not prepared at this time to prevent the massive death and destruction that would occur if an object from space hit the Earth as it did in Tunguska," said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) at a news conference at the Pasadena offices of the Planetary Society.
In one example of the lack of attention the issue is receiving in Washington, Rohrabacher said, funding for the Arecibo, Puerto Rico, radio telescope, which hunts near-Earth objects, is in danger in next year's budget.