Odds of Cataclysmic Space-Rock Crash: 1 in 10

Despite danger, NASA doing little to protect planet
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2008 6:19 AM CDT
Odds of Cataclysmic Space-Rock Crash: 1 in 10
Sandia National Laboratoriesresearcher Mark Boslough demonstrates the "fireball" that an asteroid exploding in Earth's atmosphere could produce in Albuquerque, N.M. on Nov. 7, 2007.   (AP Photo/Sandia National Laboratories, Randy Montoya, HO)

Chicken Little may have been smarter than we thought. A growing body of evidence reveals that the sky is falling, or at least gigantic space rocks are—and the Earth is at far greater risk of a catastrophic strike than previously thought, reports Atlantic. Despite the danger—an impact could make a nuclear bomb look like a firecracker—NASA is expending little effort to protect the planet.

“What is in the best interest of the country is never even mentioned in current NASA planning,” said a former Apollo astronaut. “Are we going to let a space strike kill millions of people before we get serious about this?” A generation ago, conventional wisdom put the chances of a major strike at 1 in a million—today, a leading asteroid specialist says it's closer to 1 in 10 each century. (More astronomy stories.)

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