Ever wondered what would happen if the earth actually found itself in the path of a huge asteroid?
Would we send a team of oil rig workers to destroy it with a nuke a la Armageddon or is there something less extreme involved?
Well, according to the outline of an emergency plan that has been unveiled in a White House paper, we aren’t quite there yet.
The National Near-Earth Object (NEO) Preparedness Strategy has laid down the process that might be followed by the United States if an asteroid or other NEO is headed our way.
First up it has suggested that more needs to be done to improve detection systems to increase the chances of doing something to halt its path.
Then, once the asteroid has been detected, it suggests building an AI space probe with lasers and sensors to find out more about the asteroid including details about its size and weight.
Beyond that it’s a little bit more open to interpretation but the data will help defence experts develop a strategy for what to do.
If they think its necessary a warning siren, like you might find in hurricane-hit areas, might go off to tell people to find cover.