Rusty Schweickart Talks Decision Making and Asteroid 2011 AG5

In this video lecture at Stanford, Rusty Schweickart tells us why we may be forced to make some important decisions in the very near future about initiating an asteroid deflection mission for asteroid 2011 AG5.  This asteroid currently has a 1 in 500 chance of hitting the Earth with an impact energy of about 100 Megatons on February 5, 2040.  To summarize, the longer we wait the more difficult it is to deflect this asteroid.  The question is whether we can afford to wait until we know for sure whether it will or will not hit us.  This example highlights the importance of doing a complete survey of the inner Solar System for threatening asteroids.

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