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NASA and FEMA's Action Plan Revealed In Case a 'Killer Asteroid' Head Towards Earth

Dec 07, 2016 08:13 AM EST
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NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is preparing for the worse as both agencies collaborate for an action plan in case a killer asteroid heads towards the planet.
(Photo : Bill Ingalls/NASA via Getty Images)

In this day and age, emergency responses have been performed in a swift and fast approach with the help of technology. But can it also apply if a killer asteroid is heading towards Earth? That is what NASA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have been working with for quite some time now; they released a step-by-step action plan if in case they needed to deal with a killer asteroid.

Armageddon has a very slim chance of happening, about one in one million years, according to a report. Reports say that if a killer asteroid was spotted, a core team of 12 scientists will be alerted by using email or text messaging.

For NASA preparation is key. "It's not a matter of if -- but when -- we will deal with such a situation," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate said in a press release. "But unlike any other time in our history, we now have the ability to respond to an impact threat through continued observations, predictions, response planning and mitigation."

In order to 'fight' a killer asteroid, the scientists will then proceed to gather information about the space rock including its trajectory, path and even the size. Various space observatories and Earth-based telescopes will gather and provide the data about the asteroid. This is only part of NASA's plan if in case, the event happens.

NASA in collaboration with FEMA recently conducted a dry-run of the procedures when dealing with a speeding asteroid. "It is critical to exercise these kinds of low-probability but high-consequence disaster scenarios," FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said in a statement. 

The Minor Planet Center will receive information about near-Earth objects heading towards Earth. This center will be responsible for sending the alert through email or text to NASA and all people involved

But it turned out Earth is a difficult target to hit, however, if the asteroid will hit the planet, NASA's next step is to alert the White House and its Office of Science and Technology policy, who will then inform the public of an imminent danger.

But the impact is very unlikely to happen in this lifetime. But both agencies are looking after the future of the Earth and are already studying trajectories and paths of asteroids that may hit the planet in the future to help the next generation prepare for the worse.


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