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There's a 72% probability of an asteroid impacting earth today

The goal of the exercise was to evaluate Earth's capacity to deal with the threat posed by a possibly dangerous asteroid.

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Annesha Barua -- June 23rd 2024 02:46 PM
There's a 72% probability of an asteroid impacting earth today

There's a 72% probability of an asteroid impacting earth today

PTC News Desk: In a fictitious exercise, the US space agency NASA discovered that there is a 72% possibility that an asteroid that could be hazardous will strike Earth, and that we might not be ready to stop it.

NASA conducted the sixth biennial Planetary Defense Interagency Tabletop Exercise in April, according to an official report from the space agency. The exercise, which took place at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, was summarized by NASA and released on June 20.

Aside from NASA, around a hundred officials of different US government departments and foreign partners participated in the tabletop exercise.

Even though there aren't any known serious asteroid threats in the near future, this was done to gauge how well Earth could react in the event that an asteroid became potentially dangerous.

According to NASA, the fictitious exercise also offered insightful information about the dangers, possible courses of action, and cooperative opportunities presented by various scenarios.

Lindley Johnson, the emeritus planetary defense officer at NASA Headquarters in Washington, stated: "The exercise's initial settings were unclear, which gave participants the opportunity to think through a very difficult set of circumstances. Perhaps the only natural tragedy that humanity can anticipate years in advance and take action for is a major asteroid strike.

According to the summary of the Tabletop exercise, "participants explored possible national and international reactions to a fictitious scenario in which an asteroidal body never before discovered was identified and had, based on preliminary calculations, a 72% chance of striking Earth in roughly 14 years."

"72% chance of Earth impact on July 12, 2038 (14.25 years warning time)" is the exact phrase.

NASA said that further information is needed to accurately ascertain the asteroid's size, composition, and long-term course.

The report emphasized, "Decision-making processes and risk tolerance not understood," when discussing the major gaps on Earth. Inadequate preparedness to launch necessary space missions promptly. Attention must be paid to the timely global coordination of messages. Plans for managing disasters caused by asteroids are not established.

According to NASA, DART has also verified that a kinetic impactor might alter an asteroid's course.

The report stated that NASA is working on NEO Surveyor (Near-Earth Object Surveyor) to make sure that Earth will have enough time to assess and react to a possibly dangerous asteroid.

Among the space telescopes infrared is NEO Surveyor. Its purpose is to make it easier for humans to find the majority of potentially dangerous near-Earth objects, many years before they pose a threat to Earth-impact collisions. In June 2028, NASA will launch the NEO Surveyor spacecraft.

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- With inputs from agencies

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