News of the WeekAstronomy

Asteroid Searchers Streak Ahead

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Science  14 Aug 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5379, pp. 894-895
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5379.894

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The once-arcane field of tracking potential threats from near-Earth objects, or NEOs, is suddenly in the limelight and is making unprecedented progress. NASA's budget for hunting space rocks doubled to $3 million this fiscal year, and the U.S. Air Force recently unveiled a search system that is bagging NEOs at an unprecedented clip. This week, Air Force and NASA scientists will convene to consider boosting the Air Force's role still further, and other search efforts are also steaming ahead.