Asteroid WARNING: NASA make plans for ‘Armageddon’ scenario of asteroid STRIKING earth

The space agency’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office will participate in a “tabletop exercise” to work out contingency planning for such an event, alongside international partners. These partners include the European Space Agency (ESA)’s Space Situational Awareness NEO-Segment and the International Warning Network, according to Techcrunch. The tabletop exercise is a simulation used in disaster management planning to help inform the agency what actions would be required.

The scenario was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Centre for NEO Studies (CNEOS).

NASA’s planetary defence officer Lindley Johnson said: “These exercises have really helped us in the planetary defence community to understand what our colleagues on the disaster management side need to know.

“This exercise will help us develop more effective communications with each other and with our governments.”

The simulation is required by the US government thanks to the National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan.

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NASA has been on the lookout for potentially calamitous near-Earth objects such as asteroids and comets for more than 20 years.

The NASA website displays the time and distance of any near-Earth objects close approaches.

For example, on Tuesday there will be a near-Earth approach of an asteroid called GF1 at around midnight.

GF1’s distance from Earth will be 4.67-4.67 Lunar Distance.

However, the scenario the agencies will be dealing with involves the identification of a near-Earth object on March 26 that has a 1 in 100 chance of hitting the Earth by 2027 – 1 in 100 being the real threshold for initiating global contingency plans.

Mr Johnson said: “NASA and FEMA will continue to conduct periodic exercises with a continually widening community of US government agencies and international partners.

“They are great ways for us to learn how to work together and meet each other’s needs and the objectives laid out in the White House National NEO Preparedness Action Plan.”

NASA have completed six impact exercises in the past – three international ones (2013, 2015 and 2017) and three with FEMA and representatives from the Department of Defence and State Department.

Leviticus Lewis of the Response Operations Divisions for FEMA: “What emergency managers want to know is when, where and how an asteroid would impact, and the type and extent of the damage that could occur.”