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Asteroid hunters want to launch private telescope
Question of the Day
Experts said the telescope’s vantage point would allow it to spy asteroids faster than ground-based telescopes and accelerate new discoveries. NASA explored doing such a mission in the past but never moved forward because of the expense.
“It’s always best to find these things quickly and track them. There might be one with our name on it,” said Don Yeomans, who heads the Near-Earth Object Program at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which monitors potentially dangerous space rocks.
Aside from the technological challenges, the big question is whether philanthropists will open up their wallets to support the project.
Spahr questions whether enough can be raised given the economy. “This is a hard time,” he said.
The group has received seed money _ several hundreds of thousands of dollars _ from venture capitalists and Silicon Valley outfits to create a team of experts. Lu, the foundation chair, said he was confident donors will step up and noted that some of the world’s most powerful telescopes including the Lick and Palomar observatories in California were built with private money.
“We’re not all about doom and gloom,” Lu said. “We’re about opening up the solar system. We’re talking about preserving life on this planet.”
Alicia Chang can be followed at http://www.twitter.com/SciWriAlicia
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
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