Following the destructive meteor breakup over southern Russia on February 15, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev assigned a deputy, Dmitry Rogozin, to find ways to prevent far worse disasters.
Rogozin had proposed in 2011 an “international initiative” to prevent such threats by harnessing the “intellectual and technological efforts of industrial nations.”
Anti-missile and aerospace defense technologies in use today are mostly ground-based and designed to detect incoming objects launched from the ground, rather than those coming from space, Rogozin said.
He proposes a network structured under the umbrella of the United Nations to detect and deflect meteors or asteroids long before they reach the planet.
"The great space powers, including Russia, could make in-kind contributions with the technology and programs that have already been established," said Rogozin.
More than 50 people were hospitalized in the Feb. 15 Russian meteor crash, which generated a shock wave that caused an estimated at $33 million in damage.
Photo: Institut de RadioAstronomie Millimétrique