Rogozin Again: SDE Can Unite Mankind
February 26, 2013 • 11:30AM

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin continues to address the need for a global, coordinated program against dangerous asteroids. He did so again on Saturday, Feb. 23, Russia's Defenders of the Fatherland holiday honoring veterans and servicemen, at a conference of the Rodina party and the Congress of Russian Communities, held in Krasnogorsk, Moscow Region. Russian wire services reported that Rogozin said, ``We are now talking about posing objectives that could unite mankind in the face of a common enemy.''

Rogozin explained that the existing aerospace defense system ``cannot discover meteorites, which are approaching the Earth, because it tracks missile launches from the Earth," and thus it is usually "looking down." He said that "a monitoring system can be created only jointly with other countries," and that "it is not enough to know about the danger; it needs to be prevented. And this means seeking technical solutions which don't yet exist, such capabilities as could change the flight path of a dangerous space object at a long distance from the Earth or destroy it."

Rogozin added, "This system needs to start being built now, so that we don't end up kicking ourselves later and being too late in dealing with this kind of danger to civilization," because ``no one can say exactly what will happen in 25, 30 or 40 years.'' Rogozin said. "The great space powers of the world, including Russia, could each make a natural contribution, using the technologies and programs they already have under development. These could include nuclear propulsion systems and more powerful launch vehicles.''

``This system should be global and universal in both the technical and political aspects, and should be negotiated in the framework of the United Nations,'' said Rogozin, noting that Russia and the United States, either alone or together, lack such capabilities.

In the same speech, Interfax reported, Rogozin voiced concern that "certain countries, which we shall not name" might place nuclear weapons in space for military purposes, under cover of preparing to fight threats from outer space.