Great news! This learned writer (no: this one, not me) seems to suggest that humankind might actually have the technology and ability to prevent an asteroid strike which would likely end all life on earth.
As long as we have a few decades of warning time.
But: Great news! NASA is tracking loads of these potential planet-devastating lumps of rock (when they’re at work, at least), and so we’re likely to get quite a bit of lead time before all life on earth is wiped out.
The bad news is that because we’re probably going to have a few decades of advance warning, there will almost certainly be no need for desperate measures like the inevitable big nuclear bomb. Thus any thoughts of a photo op of a massive extra-atmospheric firework display are, in all probability, wholly over optimistic.
Which is sad.
Do click through for some technologically amazing – but actually rather dull – ideas on how the-powers-that-be might protect us from certain death.
We could blast it with a laser, for example.
do get the hopes up, only for them to be dashed with the follow up:
But since we don’t currently have a giant space laser, this method requires a bit more planning.
Leaving us with this riveting alternative:
In space, friction ceases to exist. Bodies move about as dictated by gravity. So, if you put something heavy near an asteroid, you can pull it off track.
This method happens slowly. It would only change the asteroid’s course at a rate of millimeters or centimeters per second per year.
It is, of course, recognised by all parties involved that any attempt to divert or blow up an incoming asteroid must be accompanied by an Aerosmith soundtrack. Understandably.