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Trustee Election
These are the original issues in this subcategory
  • SPACE EXPLORATION
  • EXTRATERRESTRIALS
  • PLANETARY DEFENSE
Winning Issue » PLANETARY 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 and cause widespread devastation. Catastrophic damage will occur if one of these objects collides with our planet. Massive wildfires, towering tidal waves and extreme weather 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 the 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. 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 wish 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. However, a recent NASA simulation revealed that it would need 5 to 10 years to prepare for such an event.

Proposed Legislation: To authorize NASA to develop and deploy a planetary defense system.
Prospective Sponsor: Rep. Bill Posey (FL)



Options


  • I oppose reforming current planetary defense policy and wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA).
  • I support introducing legislation authorizing NASA to develop and deploy a planetary defense system and wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Rep. Bill Posey (FL) and/or to an advocate group currently working with this issue.


Winning Option
  • I support introducing legislation authorizing NASA to develop and deploy a planetary defense system and wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Rep. Bill Posey (FL) and/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 introducing legislation funding NASA to research, develop and deploy a planetary defense system.

If elected as a trustee, The Planetary Society 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 a planetary defense system.

Mission: Empowering the world’s citizens to advance space science and exploration. The Planetary Society is a non-profit organization under the leadership of CEO Bill Nye. It is the world’s largest and most influential non-profit space organization. The organization is supported by over 50,000 members in over 100 countries. We introduce people to the wonders of the cosmos, bridging the gap between the scientific community and the general public to inspire and educate people from all walks of life. We give every citizen of the planet the opportunity to make their voices heard in government and effect real change in support of space exploration. We bring ordinary people directly to the frontier of exploration as we crowdfund innovative and exciting space technologies. And we facilitate global collaboration for the advancement of space exploration. The Planetary Society also advocates for effectively communicating the importance of a planetary defense system.
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Trustee Election - Opening Date
October 11, 2021
Trustee Election - Closing Date
October 18, 2021