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PRESS RELEASE


LaRouche PAC's Deniston
on the Asteroid Flyby:
'We Are Flying Blind
through the Solar System'

Feb. 15 (EIRNS)—Ben Deniston of the LaRouche PAC science team draws the lessons of today's near-Earth flyby of Asteroid 2012 DA14, in a 25-minute LaRouche PAC-TV video posted yesterday ("SDE Update: Asteroid 2012 DA14 Flyby." ).

Although NASA had ascertained that there was no danger of the asteroid hitting Earth, it came very close—closer than many of our communications satellites. The asteroid is about 50 meters in diameter, comparable to the space object (believed to be a meteoroid or comet) that exploded over Tunguska, Siberia in 1908, leveling an area of some 800 square miles (thankfully, the region was uninhabited). Should such a body hit a metropolitan area, it would cause untold devastation.

Even as asteroid 2012 DA14 was passing, a meteor crashed through the atmosphere today in the Chelyabinsk Region of Russia, injuring 1,000 people, and underscoring the importance of developing the ability to deal with such Near Earth Objects.

Deniston linked the threat to Earth from such Near-Earth Objects to the upcoming 30th anniversary of President Reagan's announcement of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) on March 23, 1983. The SDI, as originally conceived by Lyndon LaRouche, supported by Dr. Edward Teller, and adopted by President Reagan, called for cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union to prevent nuclear war: what Dr. Teller called "the common aims of mankind." The proposal was rejected by the Soviet leadership, and the LaRouche-Reagan conception was sabotaged by its opponents in the United States.

Today, Deniston said, the spirit underlying the original SDI should be revived and applied to meeting the common threat to all mankind from the impact of space objects. He emphasized two principal challenges:

  1. Scientists' do not have anywhere near enough knowledge to forecast an impending Earth impact in a timely fashion; and

  2. if we knew an impact was coming, what would we do about it—especially given the enormous speeds at which these objects are traveling?

He concluded:

"Right now we're basically flying blind through the Solar System, traveling through this dense population of bodies, unaware of when the next collision might occur. And we're not taking the efforts we could be taking to initiate real science-driver programs, typified by a full expansion of NASA, unleashing NASA to cooperate with other nations, to cooperate with Russia, to cooperate with China, to give mankind the full capabilities needed to tackle these threats and defend the entire planet Earth.

"So right now today, that's what this flyby and that's what the anniversary of Reagan's announcement of the SDI should be bringing to the minds of people. Is mankind going to take that moral, cultural step to recognize our existence as one humanity, one mankind, on one planetary body, faced with a whole array of common threats? And are we finally going to take that as the principle that we have to collaborate and organize international relations around? Are we going to take that as the central issue that will now define international and strategic relations?

"We've now been given a warning by the Solar System on this Feb. 15 passage. So the challenge now is to actually act upon that warning, and get the type of collaborative program needed to move mankind out into space and give us the capabilities to handle these types of challenges."