Three former U.S. astronauts and one from
"The very first step is to find where those objects are and track (them)," Noguchi said at a press conference at the
To that end, the astronauts said that governments should help fund the launch of a space-based telescope by 2020 and start a mission to test asteroid deflection capabilities within ten years.
They also emphasized the need to include asteroids in national disaster plans and budgets, and designate each country's national agency in charge of responding to asteroid threats.
Only 1 percent of potentially dangerous asteroids have been detected by ground-based telescopes, the astronauts said. Once spotted, a potentially devastating asteroid could be pushed off a collision course by a spacecraft.
The method could prevent an asteroid up to 400 meters in diameter from striking the earth. For an even larger asteroid, multiple rockets could be used.
An asteroid over 150 meters in diameter falling into the sea would likely cause a tsunami, the scientists said.
The meteor that exploded over
"It's the culmination of all of our space knowledge," former NASA astronaut
The event was held during the same week that a
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