Now here’s one straight out of the comic books: The United Nations has announced it’s going to start proactively searching for asteroids in Earth’s path — and taking measures to protect us from deadly collisions.
Asteroids — or as they’re known in the scientific community, “flying death rocks” — can be thrown off-course by a single hit from a spacecraft if the projectile is launched five to 10 years in advance.
This isn’t the last-minute USS Enterprise-style save you were probably looking for when you clicked that remarkably exciting headline, but a last-minute save would mean certain death for people unfortunate enough to be in the flying death rock’s path.
First steps, according to our besties at Scientific American, are the UN officially forming an International Asteroid Warning Group (note: will not include X-Men). This group will work with the existing Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
Since no nation or space agency has claimed responsibility for keeping Earth safe from asteroids yet (thanks, America), private entities and astronomers will keep an eye out for potentially dangerous asteroids. Once these are identified, nations in a position to defend Earth will have to designate an agency, such as NASA, to coordinate countermeasures.
We live in thrilling times, my friends. Next stop: Starfleet!