Deflecting asteroids

With NASA announcing an asteroid is on a possible collision course with Earth 23 years from now, 360info looks at the planet’s early warning systems.

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It was a few white lines on a black screen, but Asteroids became Atari’s most popular arcade game.

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Spurred by a near miss, the world built an alert system to detect asteroids heading for Earth. But it’s not clear who would decide what to do next.

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If an asteroid threat emerged, Earth would need to be ready. Scientists are continually working to give the planet the best range of defensive strategies.

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It’s unlikely to happen, but if a large space object ever hit Earth, the outcome would be calamitous. Humanity needs to start preparing now.

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Even with millions in funding and super high-tech equipment, the world’s space agencies need a helping hand from people at home.

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Using a spacecraft to knock an asteroid off a collision course is the best planetary defence we have. But it will take complex calculations, and plenty of time.

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A large asteroid or comet on track for Earth would be a global threat. It would require national and international efforts to stop it.

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