Earth is NOT prepared for a surprise asteroid strike: Nasa warns 'there's not a lot we can do about it at the moment'

DATE: 13/12/2016

    Nasa scientist, Dr Joseph Nuth spoke about the issue at a conference this week
    He said the warning time is not long enough to launch a deflection mission
    He says that a new interceptor rocket could be designed to launch within a year to deflect an asteroid and prevent it hitting Earth

While the possibility of a catastrophic asteroid slamming into Earth is extremely rare, it may only be a matter of time before this threat becomes a reality.

But experts have warned that humans are not prepared for an asteroid impact, and should one head for Earth, there's not much we can do about it.

A Nasa scientist has said that our best hope is building an interceptor rocket to keep in storage that could be used in deflection missions.

Dr Joseph Nuth, a researcher at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Maryland was speaking at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union earlier this week.

He said: 'The biggest problem, basically, is there's not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment.'

While dangerous asteroids and comets rarely hit Earth, Dr Nuth warned that the threat was always there.

He said: 'They are the extinction-level events, things like dinosaur killers, they're 50 to 60 million years apart, essentially.

'You could say, of course, we're due, but it's a random course at that point.'

In the past, comets have come very close to hitting Earth.


Nasa is planning an ambitious mission that will see a robotic spaceship visit an asteroid to create an orbiting base for astronauts.

The robot shipwill pluck a large boulder off the space rock and sling it aroundthe moon, becoming a destination to prepare for futurehuman missions to Mars.

Nasa plans to study the asteroid for about a year and test deflection techniques that one day may be necessary to save Earth from a potentially catastrophic collision.


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