We have something new to add to your list of things that aren’t really surprising, but are still utterly terrifying.
While speaking at a recent event, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center scientist Joseph Nuth broached the topic of a potential asteroid strike and the effect it would have on the Earth. TL;DR: We’re pretty much screwed. Science Alert reported on Nuth’s speech, where he simply stated “there’s not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment,” which is true. We don’t have any real deflection or evacuation plan to speak of, though those efforts are in the early stages (and have been for a while).
Nuth’s solution? He’d like to see NASA build an “intercepting spacecraft” designed to (you guessed it) intercept a potential asteroid and blow it off its collision course. He also recommended a scout craft that could also be launched toward the asteroid to help the larger craft with its accuracy. Since, you know, the fate of the world would be at stake and all. Though there is no imminent threat (that we know about), Nuth said NASA should make this a priority right now so the craft could be ready to launch in the event of a disaster.
If we wait until the threat is known, Nuth said it would almost certainly be too late. Bruce Willis might also be too old to lead the rescue mission, so keep Ben Affleck at the ready.
(Via Science Alert)