As today marks the first annual international Asteroid day, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) asks the member nations to join in raising awareness of the potential threat an asteroid impact on earth would pose.
The organization have marked today, 30th of June, in memory of the Tunguska event in 1908, where an asteroid fell in Siberia flattening nearly 80 million trees, sending up dust clouds which reflected the sunlight around the globe, making it possible to read the newspaper during night in London.
The Tunguska incident was the largest collision in recorded history by earth with an asteroid to date. More recently, in February of 2013 a fireball disintegrated over Chelyabinsk with an estimated power equivalent to 440 tons of dynamite
The UNOOSA, formed in 1962, has worked for years to identify, classify and assess Near Earth Objects (NEO’s). One of the goals is to assess the potential threat posed by such NEO’s.
“Addressing such a hazard, including the identification of those objects that pose a threat of impact and planning a corresponding mitigation campaign, requires cooperative action in the interest of public safety on the part of the global community,”
Other than the protection of life on earth, an international cooperation on space stuff brings with it technological advancement. Benefits stemming from space technology applications have long been a cornerstone outcome of agencies like NASA, whose research have contributed to furthering of key areas like transportation and computer technology, helping to create new jobs and develop new technologies.
It is the hope of the UNOOSA that an international space-defense cooperation can lead to similar benefits globally.
The International Asteroid Day will be observed by the UN and participating countries every year going forward.