U.N. space panel unveils plan to shoot down asteroids

The United Nations thinks it has a plan to fend off devastation from space — and it comes on the heels of a Friday morning meteor that slammed into Russia, shattering windows and injuring 1,000, and on the same day an asteroid half the size of the United States is reportedly passing by Earth.

The international body plans to put together a program that would assess asteroid threats and destroy or deflect them via a “gravity tractor,” according to Newser. 

Sergio Camacho, head of the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs, will take charge of the U.N.’s panel Action Team on Near-Earth Objects, which will unveil the global asteroid warning system to the General Assembly.

NASA already tracks asteroids — but only those of certain sizes. And that leaves open too large a window, U.N. officials said, for other asteroids to sneak through and cause earthly damage.

The U.N. panel’s been working on the plan for 12 years, Newser reports. Panel members expect the General Assembly to consider it in October.

 

 

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