Space and its unseen dangers
Tugunska, Siberia, on June 30th of 1908, was not unlike any other, except that morning a cataclysmic event was merely moments away. Long before the nuclear age, Tugunska, suffered an explosion so powerful it shocked the residents of Vanarava, forty miles from the epicenter. Hurtling through the skies at over thirty-three thousand miles per hour, an asteroid exploded 28,000 feet above the Siberian landscape, resulting in a destructive force 185 times more powerful than Hiroshima's atomic bomb detonation at the end of WWII.
Recently, another Russian town fell victim to a similar fate. Structural damage in Chelyabinsk was incredible and over 1200 residents were injured by glass and debris. The world was able to witness the event as amateur videographers captured the blazing flight path of the space rock across the early morning skies.
Dangers linger outside the realm of our planet, but what can be done? Former astronaut, Ed Lu may hold the key. His foundation B612 will launch a space telescope in 2018. The foundation, plans on tracking many of the smaller bits of cosmic debris in an effort to prevent another Cheylabinsk. In conjunction with NASA, they hope to identify nearly 90 percent of these asteroids and divert their flight path should they prove a danger to life on earth. As our existence hovers precariously on this planet let us hope they are successful in their endeavors. An event of Tugunska proportions or greater is unthinkable.