Scientist are now simulating asteroid strikes in case of a path heading towards earth and ways to defend the earth. In a recent simulation, an asteroid heading towards Denver Colorado, a trio of spacecrafts managed to knock the asteroid off course. Celebration was short-lived because a chunk of the asteroid blew off and set course straight to New York City. The airburst of 20 megatons would flatten everything in a 15-kilometer, completely destroying Manhattan. There would be no survivors in a 32 mile radius, and damage extending to 68 kilometers away.
The reason these simulations are a big deal is because one day an asteroid might set course towards earth and cause the “end of the world”. Scientists need a way to defend the planet in case of this emergency. This recent simulation gave us 8 years to prepare for a 200 feet wide asteroid planned to hit earth. As of now, scientists have no way to defend earth from an asteroid.
These simulations are an eye-opener because one day this might happen, and we might not be prepared. In a ESA blog, they said that an asteroid impact is the only natural disaster we are able to prevent. As of now we have no reason to be worried about an asteroid hitting the earth.
The best way of learning to prevent something is knowing what is out there. We have powerful telescopes around the earth scouting for these asteroids that pose a threat. Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defense officer said, ‘these exercises have really helped us in the planetary defense 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.”