WASHINGTON -- As if Congress doesn’t have enough problems on Earth, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) said Friday’s meteor in Russia and asteroid flyby should serve as a wake-up call for lawmakers to consider planetary protection from space objects.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, said he would schedule a hearing to examine ways to better identify and address asteroids that pose a potential threat to Earth.
"What concerns me,’’ said Rohrabacher, the panel’s vice chairman, is that "we have no plan that can protect the Earth from any comet or asteroid. So, even if we find one that will hit us, we might not be able to deflect it.’’
It’s not a new subject for Rohrabacher, who has sponsored legislation to establish a Commission on Planetary Defense to develop strategies to respond to "potentially dangerous nearEarth objects.’’