The Asteroid Belt
Dr David Baines
November 26, 2012
I would like to see more investment in the exploration of the asteroid belt. There are two reasons for this; 1)To protect our planet from an asteroid (NEO) hit. 2) and to commercially exploit asteroids to kick-start space business. I believe that the only way that space exploration will generate a critical mass is if there is a direct business return on investment by companies and private individuals. The history of the exploration of our own planet teaches us this lesson - that at first you have the pioneers, then a period of procrastination folowed by burst of interest when invetsment becomes a feasible strategy. Then on the back of this business growth the investment will be available to explore the solar system and beyond in the search for life and to satisfy that admirable instinct of humankind - curiosity.
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.