An award-winning scientist with NASA believes that Earth is due for an "extinction-level" event. Joseph Nuth of the Goddard Space Flight Center, feels that the planet could possibly be looking at a comet or asteroid strike in the future and there will be nothing that anyone could do about it.
While at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco on Monday, Nuth explained to the policymakers in attendance that plans should be made to prepare for a cataclysmic strike. However, he did mention that the odds of such an event are quite low.
"But on the other hand, they are the extinction-level events, things like dinosaur killers, they're 50 to 60 million years apart, essentially," Nuth said according to New York Post. "You could say, of course, we're due, but it's a random course at that point."
Nuth believes that Earth's inhabitants would be completely off guard in such a catastrophe, but also that humanity has no way of preparing for it.
"The biggest problem, basically, is there's not a hell of a lot we can do about it at the moment," Nuth said.
To combat the situation, Nuth is requesting that NASA build an "interceptor" rocket as well as an observer spacecraft. The rocket would be capable of carrying a nuclear bomb to destroy a comet strike, and it could "mitigate the possibility of a sneaky asteroid coming in from a place that's hard to observe, like from the sun," Nuth said.
While Nuth's warnings were dire, the problem is that NASA has a typical five-year period between approving a mission and launching.
"It's really imperative that we reduce that reaction time," Nuth said.
NASA has commented on the situation. The agency believes there is no need to be concerned for at least the next 100 years. NASA officials released this statement:
"NASA places a high priority on finding and characterizing any hazardous asteroids and comets as much in advance as possible, to have sufficient time to protect our home planet from a potential impact. The agency continues to aggressively develop strategies and plans with partners in the US and abroad to enhance our identification and tracking efforts, and develop options for mitigation and planetary defense."
"To date, approximately 95 percent of potentially hazardous asteroids and comets larger than 1 kilometer in size that could pose danger to Earth have been found. Additionally, there are no detected impact threats for the next 100 years."
What are your thoughts about NASA's Joseph Nuth's warning about an extinction level event?
[H/T New York Post]
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