Right now, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration is only soliciting ideas, but eventually the federal agency hopes to involve the general public in its search for asteroids which might threaten the earth.

“We a large amount of data already associated with asteroids,” says Jason Kessler, a spokesman for the NASA office of the chief technologist.  “Are they ways we can creatively bring people in to help?”

NASA used the general public to help analyze pictures taken by the Hubble telescope.  That helped resolve the project to classify galaxies much quicker than expected.

“We’ve done a very good job on the big ones (asteroids),” he says, “but it’s the smaller one that do have some potential threat that we have a lot of work to do.”

NASA has put out a Request For Information, basically opening the door to institutions, companies, universities and others to submit ideas on how to make this happen. 

“We have to figure out how we can come together to address such a problem,” he says.