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Local Expert Calling Space Events A Wakeup Call
Two events in space have some experts calling it a wakeup call. Friday morning a meteorite hit in eastern Russia and injured nearly 1,000 people -- less than 24 hours later, an asteroid made a record close approach.
Astronomer Torvald Hessel, founder of the Austin Planetarium, says meteorite strikes are common.
"We see meteorites on a regular basis. Last year, there was one over Dallas that fell east," he says.
Hessel says the two incidents are unrelated, but should be a cause for concern. "This is a wakeup call. I hope a lot of people see that. Because these are just the rocks we know are out there."
House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) released a statement saying these events are a reminder of the need to invest in space science.
Hessel agrees, "The tendency is to cut the funding. People don't understand, politicians don't understand, it's something to worry about."
The Science, Space, and Technology Committee will hold a hearing in the coming weeks to examine ways to better identify and address asteroids that pose a potential threat to Earth.
By Christie Post