We know asteroids can do bad things to our planet. Now Nasa is going to let us know just how grim a doomsday space rock collision would be. The space agency has spent 20 years scanning the heavens for near-Earth objects (NEOs), which are comets or asteroids which come within 30 million miles of humanity’s homeworld. Next week at the Planetary Defence Conference, it will take part in a ‘tabletop exercise’ which will imagine what would happen if a huge rock hit us. ‘These exercises have really helped us in the planetary defence community to understand what our colleagues on the disaster management side need to know,’ said Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer. ‘This exercise will help us develop more effective communications with each other and with our governments.’ The exercise imagines that a gigantic object is on a collision course with Earth. Participants in the exercise will discuss possible missions to deflect it, but also analyse the ‘potential impact’s effects’. ‘What emergency managers want to know is when, where and how an asteroid would impact, and the type and extent of damage that could occur,’ said Leviticus Lewis of the Response Operations Division for the Federal Emergency Management… Read full this story
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