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"Despite our growing awareness of this potential threat, funding is being cut worldwide for space watch programs."
- Fire In The Sky, TBS 3/23/97

"A typical thermonuclear weapon would have the energy required to move the asteroid, but exactly how to use those weapons...these details have not been worked out...Perhaps the worst thing that could happen is if we...blast a bomb and the thing comes apart in several pieces that we can't control and several pieces rain down on our planet...You wouldn't be able to predict where the pieces would go, it might rain down on the planet like buckshot and create more damage than if it were just to strike as one single piece."

- Clark Chapman, NOVA Doomsday Asteroid, PBS 10/31/95

"The reality is that these fireball increases will happen fairly suddenly when they happen. We have no means at the moment of predicting them. The fact is that we do not as a world society have the means of handling this situation at the moment."

- Victor Clube, NOVA, Doomsday Asteroid, PBS 10/31/95

"If you can catch it early enough in its orbit, to fly up to it and attach a little rocket to it . . . and slowly nudge it out of harms way. [However] I wouldn't feel comfortable without at least fifty years notice. [What would happen if a comet aimed at Earth should appear suddenly?] I know of no way that we can stop it."

- Neil Tyson, astronomer, Hayden Planetarium, ABC World News 3/26/96

"The only real network of telescopes that scans the skies has been designed and built by the military."

- Clark Chapman, NOVA, Doomsday Asteroid, PBS 10/31/95

"NORAD has limited capability to see an incoming asteroid. Our systems would not pick that up until very close to the in gain, and then you'd have only a few moments until collision with the Earth. Just as we have no defense against an intercontinental ballistic missile, we would have no weapon capable of going into space to intercept this particular object."

- Air Force Col. Mike Bodenheimer, Chief of NORAD's Aerospace Warning Division, Doomsday: What Can We Do?, FOX 2/14/97

"In some places, asteroids experience traffic jams. It's possible some of these asteroids eventually will move onto an Earth-collision trajectory. It behooves us to go out and find these objects. If a one-kilometer asteroid hit the Earth, it would launch massive amounts of dirt and debris in the atmosphere. The smaller pieces take some time to rain out. During that time, all that material is blocking the sun from heating the planet. So it gets cooler on the planet and agriculture worldwide is disrupted. I think it's prudent to find these big asteroids."

- William Bottke, astronomer, Cornell University CNN 6/28/00

...the Mountain falls in the sea...the Sun refuses to shine...
- Jimi If 6 Was 9

"A space rock was found by accident on 2 July by astronomer Leonard Amburgey. He typed in the wrong celestial co-ordinates into his computer-controlled telescope and stumbled across the 3-km (1.8 miles) sized object...Astronomers are concerned that it was found by accident and was missed by the half dozen professional minor-planet surveys currently in operation."

- BBC News 7/10/00

(quotes continue below...)


"Earth Escapes Brush With Killer Asteroid" is the CNN headline in January 2002. "The Near Earth Object '2001 YB5' brightened enough for even simple telescopes to spot just before it raced past our planet on Monday. Many scientists classify it as a close call. 'The impact would be quite tremendous,' said Benny Peiser of the Royal Astronomical Society in Great Britain...In the year 2027, an asteroid between one kilometer and a mile in length is expected pass even closer...later on, either asteroid could pose risks to the planet, along with countless rocks lurking in the shadows that have yet to be identified, astronomers warn...What particularly troubles Peiser is that scientists only first spotted 2001 YB5 in early December. What if it had been heading on a collision course? 'That's not enough time for any initiatives for deflection. If we had 20 or 30 years' time, then we could develop a technology to deflect an object. With our current lack of preparedness, we are helpless,' he said."

- CNN 1/7/02

"Had 2001 YB5 been on a collision course, it would have created 'one of the worst disasters in human history,' said Steven Pravdo, the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. 'What could we have done about it? The answer is, not much,' Pravdo said."

- MSN 1/8/02

"Prompted by a close brush between Earth and an asteroid in early January, scores of top researchers who often don't see eye-to-eye have made a joint political plea for help in saving the planet...91 international astronomers and prominent space activists -- including a who's who of asteroid experts -- sent a letter...One thing they all agree on is that the threat is real. 'Had 2001 YB5 been on a collision course, there is little that could have been done to prevent possibly millions of casualties when an area the size of Tasmania would have been devastated,' the signatories agree. A similar asteroid flyby occurred last October, when a rock thought to be between 50 and 100 meters in diameter zoomed by Earth at a similar distance. The object, big enough to destroy a city, was first detected just two days prior...About 30 percent of the sky has never been surveyed. While a coordinated asteroid search program is underway in the Northern Hemisphere, none exists south of the equator, creating a blind spot that equals nearly a third of the heavens."

- 1/28/02

"Asteroids traveling near the blinding light of the sun. 'If one comes from the direction of the sun, we're not going to see it,' said Gareth Williams, associate director of the International Astronomical Union Minor Planet Center in Boston, Mass."

- CNN 3/8/02

"The 1972 anti-ballistic missile treaty with Russia expires on [June 13, 2002], six months after the U.S. announced its unilateral withdrawal from the treaty. The expiration clears the way for more comprehensive tests at a new and remote facility…With the end of the ABM treaty, they say they can make the so-called Star Wars missile defense shield a reality…Over the next weeks a new test facility will spring to life at Fort Greely, Alaska. There will be underground silos for defensive missiles and beefed up radar systems… Missile defense is far from being operational. Fort Greely won't be active until 2005 at the earliest, and that is just a test facility. The real thing, with ground-based missiles and systems up in space, is many, many years away."

- CBS News 6/9/02

[NOTE: In other words, when any rock approaches Earth over the next several decades, there is nothing that we can do to prevent impact.]