The US space agency wants to predict the chances of a near-Earth space object hitting us, outlining five goals, which include improved detection and computer modeling.
Such a plan is described in a 20-page document issued by the White House. It details the steps the US should take to better prepare for dangerous close approaches by comets and asteroids, when they pass within 30 million kilometers of Earth.
“Implementation of the National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy and Action Plan will greatly enhance our country’s readiness and work with international partners to effectively respond should a new asteroid impact potential be detected,” said Lindley Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of NASA Planetary Defense.
With the plan, NASA also intends to develop new technologies to deflect asteroids, in addition to increasing international cooperation in this mission and establishing new emergency procedures for potential impacts. However, the agency was keen to point out that no known asteroid poses imminent threats.
“NASA and its partners have identified 95% of the objects and none of them will pose a threat this century,” said Aaron Miles of the White House.
Lindley Johnson also revealed that there are already more than 18,300 objects, including asteroids, registered by NASA, and just over 8 thousand of them are more than 100 meters in diameter.
In any case, the agency does not want to be unprepared if it discovers an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, although the chances of this happening are really low.