I'm thinking you're referencing The Asteroid Terrestrial-impact Last Alert System when you site ATLAS. From what I've read they were still in proof of concept as recently as last year. They do have a grant, but that only takes them through the design phase and into the first couple of years of operation. It sounded like after 2 years they would need to find additional funds beyond this one grant. They're also operating under some limitations, projecting only a one week warning for objects 150 feet in diameter and a three week warning for a 390 foot object. This is provided that the object in question is not too close to the Sun to be detected.NEO or ATLAS., they're the most thorough asteroid surveys.
I see NEO is where you get the 90% statistic from. Of course, if one believes that 90% estimate to be accurate, that leaves a bunch of random objects out there in that dark 10%. All it takes is one. Good thing NEO is part of NASA, they've never had their budget cut. ;)
From the 2012 article I quoted. The link was at the bottom of the post, but here it is again:Where did you get the data that scientists think they've only found 30% of NEOs?
Beyond that, you'd have to ask Space.com where they got their numbers from.
We certainly can try to estimate a ratio. Rough calculations like that can possibly be misleading, though. After all, we have things like the Fermi paradox contradicting the Drake equation, showing how fuzzy speculation and probability math can be. Even our own Solar System is awfully big to be making assumptions.assuming a bell curve, we can figure out what ratio we've found even if we don't know how many there are.
That said, it's still good to see early detection programs like ATLAS and NEO in motion but from what I can tell we're a far cry from swatting these objects away at a comfortable distance from Earth. The notion of a last minute desperate effort isn't really appealing either. I don't see any reason to change my original position. I think that there needs to be better detection/early interception capability before folks can dismiss the idea of a catastrophic impact to avoid the "duh" scenario I speculated about early on.