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Russia spurs work on asteroid protection system

February 26, 2014, 14:52 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The meteor that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk last year proved that threats from outer space might be real and no less devastating than large-scale fires or natural disasters
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An asteroid (archive)

An asteroid (archive)

© EPA/WIYN/NOAO/AURA/NSF

MOSCOW, February 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Ministry of Emergencies will create a near-Earth space monitoring system for protection against asteroids, Emergency Situations Minister Vladimir Puchkov said on Wednesday.

He said the Ministry of Emergencies in cooperation with other Russian and foreign organisations was currently working on the system’s concept to ensure protection of the population and socially significant facilities from the asteroid and comet danger.

“This is a large-scale and important project for many decades to come,” Puchkov said. “We should organise a near-Earth space monitoring system covering an area of 250,000 to 500,000 kilometres that will allow us to track absolutely all space objects.”

Parts of territories in Russia, Europe and North America will be used as pilot zones, he added.

Earlier, Puchkov said the meteor that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk last year proved that threats from outer space might be real and no less devastating than large-scale fires or natural disasters.

The Ministry of Emergencies together with its foreign counterparts would, therefore, continue “to develop systems for space monitoring and prediction of emergency situations and fires, alongside systems for the protection of social infrastructure from space threats and technologies for protection of human life and health from natural disasters”, he said.

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