B612 Foundation – “The B612 Foundation believes we should find threatening asteroids before they find us. Today’s meteor explosion over Chelyabinsk is a wake-up call that the Earth orbits the Sun in a shooting gallery of asteroids, and that these asteroids sometimes hit the Earth. Later today, a separate and larger asteroid, 2012 DA14, narrowly missed the Earth passing beneath the orbits of our communications satellites. We have the technology to deflect asteroids, but we cannot do anything about the objects we don’t know exist. To date, less than 1% of asteroids larger than the one that leveled Tunguska in 1908 have been tracked. The B612 Foundation Sentinel Space Telescope, to be launched in 2018, will provide a comprehensive map of the locations and trajectories of threatening asteroids and will give humanity the decades of warning needed to prevent asteroid impacts with existing technology. By the end of its planned lifetime, Sentinel will have discovered well over 90% of the asteroids that could destroy entire regions of Earth on impact (those larger than 350ft in diameter) and more than 50% of the currently unknown DA14-like near-Earth asteroids.”
Note: The energy released by the meteor has been estimated at about 500 kilotons of TNT. To put this in perspective, the crude nuclear bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WW2 released energy equivalent to about 12 kilotons of TNT. The first thermonuclear weapon test, was rated at about 10 megatons (10,000 kilotons). The yield of the average strategic weapon in the US nuclear arsenal has been estimated to be 500 kilotons.