The Dinosaurs became extinct through lack of a space programme?
(Some thoughts on the last work of Mr. Spielberg)
by Michael Martin Smith
Michael Martin Smith (Spaceguard-UK) attended to the movie "Armageddon", by Steven Spielberg, now programmed in the best cinemas. Finding it entertaining, if not totally accurate in places, he was moved to write down some notes.
This film depicts a real and increasingly recognised future event - ok, not an impactor the size of Texas, but one of sufficient size to wreck civilization. As things stand now, we can expect at best a few months warning, against a disaster which, with forethought, and regular cheap access to Space, could be readily prevented altogether, and even turned to our profit!
Did you know that 50-100 metre objects come down every century or so? Indeed, the 20 megaton Tunguska event happened this century!
Did you know that an object 50-100 metres in size, impacting in the North Sea, would set up a 30 metres high "tidal wave" which would flatten every coastal city (of that Sea) from Aberdeen to Antwerp, with millions of dead?
Did you know that, in the last decade, 2 objects 300 metres in size have passed as near to Earth as lunar orbit, and that, this year, two new 1 kilometre Near Earth Objects were found, by sheer chance? Any of these could destroy our fragile civilization, with the loss of billions of lives.
Did you know that already a world-wide organization - Spaceguard - exists to push for the detection and tracking of the thousands of potential impactors, at an annual global cost of less than one week's UK trade in heroin, while actual countermeasures, or, more positively, usage of these same asteroids for human benefit, is being studied by hardheaded space agencies and entrepreneurs?
The human environment cannot for long be confined to one small fragile planet! Exploiting the asteroids' raw materials to build a true human(e) future in Space of limitless scope would cost far less than one year's global trade in narcotics. You have seen the alternative! Want to know more? - then visit/join Spaceguard-UK at Spaceguard UKhttp://dspace/dial/pipex.com/town/terrace/fr77/ or write to Spaceguard-UK 35 Pownall Rd,Larkhill, Salisbury,Wilts SP4 8LX or visit Space Age Associates, at http://www.astronist.demon.co.uk/index.html
The Dinosaurs became extinct through lack of a space programme- we do NOT have to follow them!