JOURNEY TO THE ASTEROID EROS
What Exactly Are They Up To?
by Al Benson
On February 17, 1996 NASA launched a satellite mission which should be of immense interest to us all. The satellite, titled NEAR, Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous, was to go into orbit around 433 EROS, an NEA (Near Earth Asteroid) in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The official estimate for large asteroids in this belt is somewhere around 700. NASAs stated mission is to establish an orbit around 433 EROS and study it for a year.
The rendezvous happened on February 14, an irony, as EROS is the Greek God of Love.
So far so good. While thinking of mythology one is reminded of the story of the Sorcerer's Apprentice, perhaps of AHAB from MOBY DICK.
Why? NASA and the corporations are in bed. In our novel and screenplay, AS THE CROWE FLYZE, Gary and I have shown just how this situation could become apocalyptic. We wrote FICTION, we honestly don't want it to become real.
But some questions. Who will monitor NASA and the corporations in this? The object in question is 21 by 8 miles. Rendezvous was 160 million miles from earth. That's approximately 14 1/2 light minutes from the earth. Not at all possible to pick up with personal scopes. Who controls all the major devices to track and monitor this mission? Guess. Will independent observers be able to observe? Will NASA release ALL the info on this or keep it because of "prior commitments?" (That's to the corporations, folks.) Oh yeah - prior commitments, sometimes called "proprietary"!
So, we have a start, a start
many of us have wanted. Some real tracking of those things which go bump in
the night. Could it be "lions and tigers and bears?" Or maybe a swim
with the sharks - oh my!
Will someone do something stupid as happened in our fiction work? We're going to try to see it doesn't happen. Eternal vigilance is also the price of survival.