Funding for asteroid radar cut...

apophis-13I know we have been talking allot lately about asteroids striking the Earth, and I swear that I have not been trying to stoke up a panic... until now...

Budget cuts will keep us from seeing any possible asteroid strikes!!!!

arecibo-radarThe US radar facility in charge of keeping track of various asteroids, including one that may pass close enough to earth to be a possible concern, will be hit by proposed budget cuts, starting in 2011. 

The Arecibo Observatory, located in Puerto Rico (a TERRITORY of the United States) has had its budget cut by the US government.  Without finding the 2-3 million dollars a year it takes to keep the Radar facility up and running, Arecibo will have to turn off the lights at the end of 2010.

Asteroid 99942, known commonly as Apophis, is expected to pass very close to the Earth in the next twenty six years: once in 2029 (believed to be at about 18,300 miles above the Earth in 2029... close enough to be seen with the naked eye)and a second time on April 13, 2036.  There is a chance that during its pass in 2029, Apophis can hit the right gravitational "sweet spot", altering its orbit enough just enough to put in on a collision course with the Earth in 2036.  The data taken by Apophis during the asteroid's passes from 2011-2013 would be invaluable in determining the threat the asteroid poses to the earth in 2029 (not to mention determine the likelihood of the celestial projectile hitting that sweet spot).

And now we will never know if we are going to have to get ready to be wiped off the face of the Earth because 30 million asteroid-gameselfish fucking people just had to have health care.

Way to be citizens of the world people...  I hope you really enjoy all that free health care when a 300 meter flaming hunk of space rock is hurling towards the Earth and the only reason we couldn't stop it is because a few squeaky wheels had to get greased...

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