Russia, U.S. mulling over diversion of asteroid hazard
Russia and the United States will pool efforts in the creation of asteroid diversion techniques.
Russian Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov said in a video link with the administrator of the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) it was time to work together to protect the Earth from asteroids and meteorites.
"The implementation of our agreements will allow us and the world at large to design an efficient mechanism of the protection from the threat asteroids. The Russian Emergency Situations Ministry is set to take practical steps in this field. We plan to elaborate a concept, which will pool efforts for the next generation of new approaches to space threat monitoring, information of the civilian population and minimization of the damage," the minister.
Contemporary technologies are unable to divert asteroids and meteorites from the Earth but Russia has launched related research programs, Puchkov said.
His U.S. counterpart, FEMA Administrator William Craig Fugate, confirmed the necessity of joint work on the asteroid problem.
In his opinion, joint efforts will provide the opportunity for dealing with such threats as this is not a mission either side could accomplish on its own. He also said the video link was an important step towards the exchange of information and the exchange of opinions on asteroid protection techniques.
Fugate described the lessons Russia learned from the meteorite event in Chelyabinsk as extremely valuable for the United States.
Puchkov invited Fugate to visit Russia.
"I invite you and your colleagues to come to Russia. We will demonstrate our R&D products and show the sites that must be preserved for the future generations: picture galleries, museums and other socially significant venues," Puchkov said.