Following the asteroid crash of 2017 AD (killing 600,000), Spaceguard was formed to track and intercept asteroids approaching the Sol system.

In the event that a dangerously large asteroid approached Earth's orbit, a Solar Survey cruiser would deflect it with nuclear weaponry.

It was Spaceguard which first detected the approach of Rama to our solar system.

From Rendezvous With Rama by Arthur C. Clark
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