Asteroid warning! Space chiefs flag Earth’s defence – powerless to stop impact

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For the exercise, US and EU scientists were told of fictional asteroid 2021PDC, which had a five percent chance of hitting Earth on October 20, 2021.

Day one of the exercise saw the team collect data, with day two involving refining of information about the asteroids orbit and trajectory.

They worked out the fictional space rock would strike either North Africa or Europe, but ruled out a space mission due to current technological limits, and also simulated a nuclear device’s inability to destroy the asteroid.

By the third day, the team had moved on to preparing the world for impact and narrowed down the impact area to Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia.

Day four saw the team refine and analyse the asteroid’s size and physical characteristics, and found the only response would be to evacuate the area before the space rock made impact.

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