In the News
We Can Save Ourselves From Earth-Killing Asteroids, but Someone Has to Pay
NINA BURLEIGH / JUNE 11, 2015
Newsweek Magazine’s excellent cover story focuses on the asteroid issue from many angles, including interviews with B612’s Ed Lu and Asteroid Day’s Science Advisor Rusty Schweickart.
Earlier this spring, as violence and chaos drove thousands of refugees onto rickety boats off Libya, with some drowning on the grueling voyage to Italy, scientists gathered on the outskirts of Rome to discuss another sort of catastrophe. Astronomers and physicists from some of the world’s top institutions grappled with a dire scenario: An asteroid possibly as large as 1,300 feet in diameter—big enough to cause epochal damage—was hurtling toward Earth, and the countries likely to be hit included some of the poorest and most unstable in the world. Policymakers bickered over whether to try to blow it up or move it, and nations nearly went to war over whether deflecting it would make the fiery rock more likely to land on them.
Relax. It was only a drill. Had it been a real emergency, you would have been instructed to kiss the world—or a large chunk of it—goodbye.
Great podcast interview via Astronomy Magazine: Rusty Schweickart: From the Apollo program to the asteroid threat