Some American government astro-scientists are espousing a plan to visit Mars in the years to come. Others would colonize the moon. The Mars favoring scientists and legislators boast that their particular proposed courses of action will entail developments and mechanisms that will thwart future asteroid threats. Both sets of plans are costly, and we are in a period of economic crisis.
NEOshield Project leader Alan Harris at the German Aerospace Center’s Institute of Planetary Research is quoted in SPACE.com as saying, “The scientific side of this will include the analysis of observational data on NEOs and laboratory experiments in which projectiles are fired at asteroid surface analog materials with different compositions, densities, porosities and structures. We need to understand how the momentum transfer from a kinetic impactor to an asteroid depends on the physical characteristics of the asteroid.”