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NASA officials say they need $1billion to identify every asteroid which poses a threat to Earth.
The American space agency says it has the skills at it's disposal, but not the cash.
In a report to be released later this week, officials say the cost to find at least 90% of the 20,000 potentially hazardous asteroids and comets by 2020 would be about $1 billion.
Congress asked NASA in 2005 to come up with a plan to track most killer asteroids and propose how to deflect the potentially catastrophic ones.
"We know what to do, we just don't have the money," said Simon Worden, director of NASA's Ames Research Centre