Introduction - It has happened before, and it WILL happen again
FAIR takes the point of view that debate over asteroid statistics is moot. It is irrelevant how far, how fast, and from which angle a “near miss” is projected to be. Our simple approach is to acknowledge that we have been periodically whacked in history and will be again—perhaps total termination stuff. We don’t know when purely because astronomers hunting them are on shoestrings.
An earth-shatteringly big question—When?—remains unanswered because this future against-the-odds science comes in a constant second to today’s needs in terms of grants and budgeting allocations. By joining the FAIR Society, you will help to answer this epic question. As your fee goes directly to astronomers and is not lost in excessive red tape, FAIR can contribute at least 95 percent of your modest lifetime membership in support of an exactly audited and specific project (see Funded Projects).
What are asteroids? They are potentially lethal (and lucrative) larger versions of meteoroids, but unlike their smaller counterparts, which manifest themselves in the form of eye-catching shooting stars, an asteroid does not vaporise upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere. It is an extraterrestrial missile with the capability of causing global catastrophe.
Our planet is bombarded by thousands of particles daily, and it is a scientific fact that one day a larger chunk of space rock will impact our world. The implications of such a collision do not bear thinking about, and most of us don’t, which is why the science of searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs) is so grossly underfunded. FAIR simply advocates sparing this future threat a single once-off thought—it is, after all, not a matter anyone wants to dwell upon.
Finding asteroids is a difficult, grossly underfunded science.
At the moment, a very small portion of the space in our solar system has been scanned. We can’t say for certain what the actual risk is as there simply aren’t the funds to finance the hunt.