For a Fistful of Dollars
In a story on the site Space.com, indicates that NASA is asking for $1 billion budget (to be spent over the next 13 years) to identify killer asteroids headed for Earth. The Agency is apparently strapped at the moment (I think it's their NEAT program that's in trouble) and can no longer afford to point telescopes at the sky to identify these orbit-crossing rocks.
So far there is no budget to actually do anything once these killers have been properly identified. That would cost several billion dollars more, I would imagine. Two things come to mind:
1) Couldn't this possibly be done cheaper using arrays of amateur telescopes(a la Seti@Home)?
2) Without any plan for asteroid deflection, isn't this information kind of useless?