Earth really isn’t ready for a killer asteroid, experts have warned after conducting an exercise of the devastating scenario.
Nasa ran a simulation to test how worst-case scenario decision-makers would react, and the results are quite worrying.
The dummy run revealed some major planning gaps that should serve as important lessons for the future.
Fortunately, there is no real threat from an asteroid at this time, or even in our lifetime.
But scientists believe we must prepare now before it’s too late.
NASA recently achieved an early milestone in this effort by intentionally smashing a spacecraft into a giant asteroid, forcing it to bounce in a different direction.
Now experts want to test our limits on the ground with the fourth Planetary Defense Tabletop Exercise.
They chose Winston-Salem, North Carolina, as their virtual test zone to see how the US would specifically respond.
“We designed it to fit right into the gap in our skillset,” said Emma Rainey, a scientist working on the project Scientific American.
“There was nothing those involved could do to prevent the impact.”
The group noted that we currently cannot prevent small space rocks from hurtling our way.
And we can’t see them very well either.
The use of a nuclear weapon was also discussed, but that would be risky.
Concerns have been raised about the spread of misinformation to the public, with fake news and so-called “asteroid deniers” posing a potential problem.
“We want to establish NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office and those who will work with us as agencies when it comes to situations like this,” said Lindley Johnson, NASA’s planetary defense officer.
“The plan is for the media and the public to understand that a group at NASA is tracking and managing this type of thing.”
20 percent of people refused to evacuate due to misinformation.
August Vernon, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County emergency management director, said: “It would collapse buildings.
“We would lose our hospitals, much of our infrastructure would go away, there was a chance this could knock out cell phone reception for at least 50 miles and the entire region would lose power.
“We couldn’t keep up at times and they have to take that into account.
“I have mayors, fire chiefs and other people to explain this to.
“We may not need to know all the science behind it, but we do need to know what, when and where because we need to start making big decisions as early as possible.”
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9697604/nasa-simulation-killer-asteroid/ Nasa simulation of ‘killer asteroid’ reveals apocalyptic effects – scientists warn: ‘We are not ready’