Trustee Election
These are the original issues in this subcategory
  • SPACE EXPLORATION
  • EXTRATERRESTRIALS
  • ASTEROID DEFENSE
Winning Issue » ASTEROID DEFENSE


Earth's atmosphere protects us from asteroids and comets that are up to 50 yards in diameter. Astronomers estimate there are at least 1 million near-earth asteroids (NEA) of this size, and more than 1,000 asteroids with diameters of at least half a mile that could impact our planet with widespread devastation. Surveys by infrared-equipped satellite telescopes have located 93% of these large NEAs and only about 70 now remain uncharted. However, catastrophic damage will likely occur if one of these objects collides with our planet. Massive forest fires, towering tidal waves and extreme weather change are the likely results of a large asteroid strike. Astronomers warn it is only a matter of time before this occurs. One recent strike was the 60 foot, 11,000 ton Chelyabinsk meteor over Russia in 2013 which entered the atmosphere at 41,000 mph, damaged 7,200 buildings, and injured 1,500 people. It exploded 14 miles above ground in a deafening blast that was 20 times more powerful than our Hiroshima bomb. This small meteor arrived totally undetected because it was made of a dark non-reflective substance, had a shallow angle of approach, and no one with a telescope was looking for it. Experts say that if Chelyabinsk had struck ground in a major city, many hundreds or thousands of deaths likely would have ensued. Oddly enough, on the same day of the Chelyabinsk meteor, an asteroid named 2012DA14 flew past the earth. This rock, roughly half a football stadium in width, flew close enough to the Earth as to pass beneath our communication satellites. And as if that were not enough, another similarly-size object named the “Pitbull” was discovered in 2014, as it flew just above our satellites over New Zealand after being detected only a week earlier. Astronomers and astronauts claim these events are further proof that our planet needs a defense against large asteroids. They claim it is possible an asteroid’s trajectory, particularly one arriving from the Southern Hemisphere, could bring it on a collision course with our planet with practically no advance warning. They say that for the first time in human evolution, we have the ability to protect our planet from asteroids and their ensuing catastrophes. Many want us to develop a means to detect, analyze and deflect or destroy large NEAs. Asteroid fragmentation methods include the use of kinetic, gravitational, solar or nuclear energy. Deflection methods include gravity tractors, laser cannons and the attachment of rockets or mass drivers to the NEA.


Pending Legislation: None




Options


  • I oppose reforming current asteroid defense policy and wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of either Rep. Paul Ryan or Sen. Mitch McConnell
  • I support sponsoring a bill authorizing NASA to research and deploy an asteroid defense system and wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Rep. Bill Posey (FL) or to an advocate group currently working with this issue


Winning Option
  • I support sponsoring a bill authorizing NASA to research and deploy an asteroid defense system and wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Rep. Bill Posey (FL) or to an advocate group currently working with this issue
There has been $0.00 pledged in support of this issue
Trustee Candidates

If elected as a trustee, the campaign committee of Rep. Bill Posey (FL) will be unconditionally awarded the funds pledged to this issue along with a letter requesting him to favorably consider sponsoring a bill funding NASA to research, develop and deploy an asteroid defense system.

If elected as a trustee, ASE will be awarded the funds pledged to this issue along with a letter requesting these funds be used to advocate for increased funding for NASA to research, develop and deploy an asteroid defense system.

The Association of Space Explorers (ASE) is an international nonprofit professional and educational organization of over 375 astronauts and cosmonauts from 35 nations. Founded in 1985 by a small group of US, Russian and international fliers meeting in France, ASE's mission is to provide a forum for professional dialogue among individuals who have flown in space; to support space science and exploration for the benefit of all; to promote and support education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM); to foster environmental awareness and planetary stewardship; and to encourage international cooperation in the human exploration of space. ASE regularly sponsors international discussions among astronauts and cosmonauts on space flight operations. ASE works closely with other space organizations to expand and invigorate international dialogue on such issues as crew safety, operational compatibility and the potential hazards of near earth objects. ASE formed its Committee on Near Earth Objects in 2005. It is charged with bringing to the attention of world leaders and key international institutions the threat of asteroid impacts to life on Earth. Today, the Committee promotes inter-space agency planning for NEO deflection, and is active in United Nations discussions aimed at a decision-making agreement to deal with hazardous objects.
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Trustee Election - Opening Date
June 4, 2020
Trustee Election - Closing Date
June 10, 2020