We have seen tons of reports, studies, and discoveries about asteroids, comets or NEOs in general, passing near-Earth. The real problem is when it will happen for real – an asteroid to hit Earth and what we would do in this case. NASA and International partners are searching for more than twenty years the skies for those objects, but a concrete plan for defending from a NEO or to diverting it isn’t made yet. Now, NASA and its international partners are making plans for asteroid impact scenario.
Will NASA and the International Partners Do Something about It?
Next week is bringing an important event, the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference, where NASA, other U.S agencies, and the international partners will meet and will participate to a realistic scenario with an asteroid hitting Earth. The plot is fictional, of course, but the purpose is to inform the participants of the possible disaster and what they could do for accomplishing a successful response. The scenario is conceived by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for NEO Studies (CNEOS).
Also, this exercise will help scientists to understand how the department of disaster management works and to help them create a way of communications through agencies and governments. This exercise will be part of the National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan that was thought and developed on a period of two years and published by the U.S. government.
What’s the Asteroid Impact Scenario for the Exercise?
The exercise will begin with the discovery of astronomers on March 26 that a NEO is dangerous for Earth. After proper research and a lot of time spent to track the asteroid, they consider it hazardous with 1 in 100 chance of impact. The mission of the participants is to discuss and find ways to deflect the asteroid or to prepare for a potential asteroid impact.
Finally, NASA has learned from FEMA that in case of emergency they are not focused on the scientific details about the object or danger, but they want to know when is happening, where and how the NEO will impact. So together, NASA and FEMA will continue their exercise to learn how to work together and to accomplish the objectives they have.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.