For NASA, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. As Joseph Stromberg writes over at Vox, the space agency is looking to test its capability to deflect an asteroid on a collision course with Earth:
“In 2022, NASA plans to send a probe crashing into an asteroid at more than 13,000 miles per hour to deflect it off its course.
This particular asteroid isn’t a threat to us. But NASA is trying to figure out how it might defend Earth from asteroids more generally — in case a big one really does head our way in the future.”
Many experts, including our own Bill Nye (see video below), fear that the human race could easily be eradicated by a wayward chunk of space rock if we don’t take proper precautionary measures to both a) colonize other habitable locations within the galaxy and b) learn to push incoming asteroids away.
NASA will work with the European Space Agency for the 2022 program.