Sep 29, 2008

UN Urged To Coordinate Asteroid Defences

By Chris Perver

An international group of astronauts, cosmonauts and members of the space community has just completed their investigation on threat posed by space objects within a near-Earth orbit (NEO). The Association of Space Explorers published their findings last week, which are a result of two years of study on the asteroid threat.

In their report, ASE have called on a global information network to be set up which will detect and catalogue NEOs, and report to a UN committee when a threat has been discovered. This committee would then advise member nations on what action to take in response to the threat, whether to prepare defences or co-ordinate evacuations.

A second UN committee would liaise with space-faring nations to deflect or destroy asteroids that posed a threat to the Earth. It's not the first time the ASE have called for a project like this to be set up. Two years ago ASE called for strategies to be created that would enable the world to deal with such a scenario.

Quote: "The ASE's vision is first for a global information network, coordinated by the U.N., that uses data from ground- and space-based telescopes to find, track and rate the risk of near-Earth objects (NEOs). Currently, NASA is watching 209 NEOs, none of which is considered to be dangerous. But a threat is likely to be detected within the next 15 years, according to the ASE.

"New telescopes coming online will increase these discoveries by a factor of 100," said Ed Lu, astronaut on space shuttle Atlantis. A new NEO Threat Oversight group would advise the UN Security Council about these risks. In the case of a threat, this group would help member states set defences into motion and, if such information came too late to act, coordinate the evacuations of cities at risk."

Within the last few years, the world has become much more aware of the threat that is posed by asteroids. Thanks to films such as Asteroid (1997) and Armageddon (1998) , people have become almost accepting of the idea that a meteor could strike the Earth, causing great devastation.

Perhaps the recent interest in asteroids stems from the impact of Shoemaker Levi 9 on Jupiter in 1994. For the first time in history, the world was able to watch as as parts of a comet collided with a planetary body in our solar system, leaving visible 'bruises' the size of Earth on the surface of the gas giant.

I do believe Shoemaker Levi 9 was a warning to us, not to be busy in setting up asteroid-defence systems, but to acknowledge our Creator who holds the powers of the heavens in His hands (Psalm 8). The Bible states that in the last days these powers will be shaken (Matthew 24:29), and the stars of heaven will fall to earth as the fig tree casts her figs (Matthew 24:29, Revelation 6:13). There is no doubt that the world is being prepared for the eventuality of Revelation 8:7-9, when it seems that a meteorite around the size of a mountain will plunge into the sea, destroying much life.

Will people look to UN committees to save them in the day of their calamity? Or will a man look to his Maker? The Bible says about the Lord Jesus, that "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not", John 1:10.

Jesus Christ is the Creator. He made you. He loves you. He wants you to be with Him forever. Your sins have separated between you and your God (Isaiah 59:2). If your sins are not forgiven, you will be eternally separated from the One Who created you. But Jesus Christ bore God's punishment for your sins upon the cross, so God could be righteous in forgiving you your sins and your relationship with Him would be restored. Our relationship with Him can be restored as soon as we believe on Jesus Christ for salvation. Why don't you trust Him for salvation today?

"But as many as received him (Jesus Christ), to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" - John 1:12

Source: ABC News