Bush's speech on U.S. space plans almost stopped flying to the Earth asteroid
As it became known on the eve of the world's media on January 13 of this year, U.S. astronomers have found a space object which is rapidly approaching the Earth. According to preliminary information at the time it was an asteroid with a diameter of about 30 meters.
As scientists discovered an asteroid, subsequently named 2004 AS1, could crash into the Earth in 36 hours — the probability of this was 25 percent. Astronomers began urgent consultations and additional measurements in order to clarify the nature of the hazard. The exact area of a strike could not be determined — was visible only that it could occur in the northern hemisphere. Blow would be accompanied by much destruction — it would not have led to the destruction of life on the planet, but the number of victims could run into thousands.
Under these conditions, the astronomers could not gather enough information to make objective conclusions — but based on the available information, it was possible to conclude that sufficient seriousness of the threat. Some American astronomers with the necessary powers were thinking about how to inform about the dangers of the White House. According to BBC News, the next day it was planned
George W. Bush's NASA, in which he announced the U.S. plans to master space — in particular, the missions to the Moon and Mars. If it was notified of the threat of an asteroid approaching, he could start his speech with appropriate warnings all over the world.
However, astronomers have decided not to inform the U.S. government and continued observation and measurement. It soon became clear that the risk of collision is still there, and the asteroid will pass at a safe distance from the Earth.
BBC News reports that after many astronomers of the world have declared that Americans are over-dramatize the situation, and should not have to lift a global concern with the available data they have. The issue of the notice the White House, according to international experts, was raised prematurely and could discredit the competence of the astronomical community.
In the end, the asteroid 2004 AS1 was about 12 million kilometers from the Earth, which is 32 times greater than the distance from the Earth to the Moon. He was much larger in size than originally anticipated — about 500 meters in diameter.