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Thursday, March 21, 2013

NASA: Just 'Pray' We All Don't Die From Asteroid Collisions

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 9:59 AM

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Following Russia's YouTube-friendly meteor explosion and the fly-by appearance of asteroid DA14 in February, there's plenty of talk going 'round about these space rocks and their potential to, um, wipe out every living thing on Earth.

So in times like this, we turn to NASA for answers and solutions.

They came up with prayer.

...Prayer.

Yes, yesterday NASA pretty much let down the scientific community with a rather underwhelming proposal. U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said the findings were "not reassuring." Indeed, Lamar. Indeed.

(Watch the Senate subcommittee hearing "Assessing the Risks, Impacts, and Solutions for Space Threats" online.)

"From the information we have, we don't know of an asteroid that will threaten the population of the United States," NASA Chief Charles Bolden said. "But if it's coming in three weeks, pray. The reason I can't do anything in the next three weeks is because for decades we have put it off."

But life as we know it 10 years from now may be slightly more secure:

Should NASA have a decade's notice of incoming asteroid, [NASA's Edward] Lu stated that they have the technology to deflect it. Their knowledge of potentially dangerous objects will be vastly improved once the Sentinel telescope launches in 2016 — capable of identifying 10,000 near-Earth asteroids a day. "The key is," said Lu, "if you don't know where they are, there's nothing you can do."

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