BIOHAZARDS - Space Environment

Near Earth Objects - Meteors, Meteorites, Asteroids and Comets all have potential for great destruction.  Events such as the chelyabinsk meteor that exploded before impact shows the energy potential of these objects for destruction.  Meteor Crater in Arizona shows the power of a meteorite.  The majority of these objects have their origin within our solar system.  The Earth's distance from our Sun is one Astronomical Unit (au).  One AU is equal to 150 million km or 93 million miles.

     The Asteroid Belt exists between the orbits of Mars (1.66 AU) and Jupiter (52AU).
     The Kuiper Belt exists from the vicinity of Neptune (30 AU) out to 55 AU.
     The Oort Cloud (responsible for Comets) encompasses the edge of the Kuiper Belt out to
     approximately one light year (63, 239 AU).

Currently the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena CA operates the Near Earth Object Program.  The Chelyabinsk meteor was missed by JPL and our collective observation programs showing a need of increased surveillence of space objects.