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Agencies carry out asteroid threat exercise

Posted on Tuesday, 8 November, 2016 | Comment icon 8 comments

The simulation aimed to see how well authorities could cope with an impending collision. Image Credit: NASA
NASA and FEMA officials got together last month to respond to a hypothetical doomsday asteroid scenario.
It's a possibility that has been played out time and time again in books and movies for years, but if we were to suddenly learn that an apocalyptic asteroid was heading in our direction, how would world government's respond to it and how much would they tell the public ?

During a recent 'tabletop exercise', NASA and FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) combined their efforts to determine how they would evaluate and respond to such a threat.

What made the hypothetical scenario particularly challenging in this case was the fact that the asteroid was so close that there was not enough time left to launch a mission to deflect it.
"The high degree of initial uncertainty, coupled with the relatively long impact warning time, made this scenario unique and especially challenging for emergency managers," said Leviticus A. Lewis, chief of FEMA's National Response Coordination Branch.

"It's quite different from preparing for an event with a much shorter timeline, such as a hurricane."

The exercise involved determining where the asteroid would strike, how to save as many people as possible and how to communicate that plan both to the public and to law enforcement agencies.

"It is critical to exercise these kinds of low-probability but high-consequence disaster scenarios," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "By working through our emergency response plans now, we will be better prepared if and when we need to respond to such an event."

Source: Space.com | Comments (8)

Tags: Asteroid

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Farmer77 on 4 November, 2016, 20:42
I do understand that asteroids are a real thing and can be a real threat but every time i hear about it I cant help but think of Aaron Russo's purported conversation with a Rothschild family member in which he told Russo that Once the cold war was over the new threat would be terrorism and that once the public stopped buying the propaganda about terrorism that the military industrial complex would move on to claiming threats from outer space  in order to ensure its revenue streams. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by White Unicorn on 5 November, 2016, 2:53
At least FEMA isn't doing a Zombie emergency exercise this time around LOL
Comment icon #3 Posted by Dark_Grey on 8 November, 2016, 21:31
Thank God. For the first time in human history, we have the technology to actually help ourselves...let's not squander the chance
Comment icon #4 Posted by jpjoe on 9 November, 2016, 1:31
As long as it's used to attack china
Comment icon #5 Posted by paperdyer on 9 November, 2016, 18:47
If we do that, you'd not have much of what you do now.  There is very little that we have in this country anymore, that some part of it doesn't come from China. 
Comment icon #6 Posted by highdesert50 on 9 November, 2016, 19:27
Would be interesting to see the model used to translate the mass and velocity of the asteroid to the consequential physical damage. Nonetheless, perhaps worthy preparation for the fallout from the US presidential election.
Comment icon #7 Posted by paperdyer on 11 November, 2016, 20:05
Shouldn't we be just as worried about the Moon creeping closer to us in its orbit?  That would be a whole lot harder to get rid of or shove a bit to change its path, not to mention the effects of it's gravitation forces.  Of course I'll be long gone.  I'll let someone else worry about it.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Grandpa Greenman on 12 November, 2016, 6:04
The moon isn't moving closer, it is moving away from us a wee bit every year. 

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