It always happens. Whenever we browse social media and encounter news sources warning us of possible meteor threats, you can often expect netizens taking it lightly, as clearly evidenced on the comment section.
This, according to NASA’s chief, is not a good thing since such threats could totally destroy an entire US state when a meteor strikes us.
During the Planetary Defense Conference in held Washington, D.C., NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that the dangers are very real.
“This is not about Hollywood, this is not about movies, this is about ultimately protecting the only planet we know right now to host life.”
In 2013, for example, a meteorite that hit over the city of Chelyabinsk, Russia left around 1,500 people injured. The said meteorite had “30 times the energy of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima,” Bridenstine shared.
“I wish I could tell you that these events are exceptionally unique, but they are not,” he continued. “These events are not rare – they happen. It’s up to us to make sure that we are characterizing, detecting, tracking all of the near-earth objects that could be a threat to the world.”
A CNBC report further tells us that in 2018, the White House has “published an action plan that required NASA to detect, track and characterize 90% of near-earth objects measuring 140 meters (460 feet) in diameter.”
Bridenstine, however, confessed that a lot of work still has to be done to hit the target
“We’re only about a third of the way there.
“We want more international partners that can join us in this effort. We want more systems on the face of the earth that can detect and track these objects, and we want to be able to feed all of that data into one single operating system so that ultimately, we have the best, most accurate data that we can possibly get.”
According to him, failure to do this could result in total catastrophe.
“(At 140 meters) it’s big enough to destroy a state in the United States of AmericaIt’s big enough to destroy an entire European country.
“We know for a fact that the dinosaurs did not have a space program. But we do, and we need to use it.”
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