NASA Make Plans for ‘Armageddon’ Scenario of Asteroid Striking Earth
The space agency’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office will participate in a “tabletop exercise” to work out contingency planning for such an event, alongside international partners. These partners include the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Space Situational Awareness NEO-Segment and the International Warning Network, according to Techcrunch. The tabletop exercise is a simulation used in disaster management planning to help inform the agency what actions would be required.
On other hand, Chinese researchers want to send more than 20 of China’s largest rockets to practice turning away a sizable asteroid – a technique that may eventually be crucial if a killer rock is on a collision course with Earth.
The idea is more than science fiction. Sometime between late 2021 to early 2022, the United States will launch a robotic spacecraft to intercept two asteroids relatively close to Earth.
When it arrives a year later, the NASA spacecraft will crash-land on the smaller of the two rocky bodies to see how much the asteroid’s trajectory changes. It will be humanity’s first try at changing the course of a celestial body.
NASA’s planetary defence officer Lindley Johnson said: “These exercises have really helped us in the planetary defence community to understand what our colleagues on the disaster management side need to know.
“This exercise will help us develop more effective communications with each other and with our governments.”
The simulation is required by the US government thanks to the National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan.