How NASA Would Really Warn Us if the World Were About to End

How NASA Would Really Warn Us if the World Were About to End

In a revelation that sounds like it’s been ripped straight from a Hollywood blockbuster, NASA has essentially confirmed they’ve got a “just in case” folder for dealing with potential asteroid threats. Yes, it appears that our favorite space agency has been prepping for an Armageddon-esque scenario, minus Bruce Willis and the dramatic Aerosmith soundtrack.

According to reports, NASA’s got a game plan that kicks into gear if ever we find ourselves starring in our own disaster movie, titled “Asteroid: It’s Coming Straight for Us.” The plan involves a group of astronomers, known as the International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN), who keep their telescopes peeled for any space rocks with Earth’s name on it.

Should they spot an unwelcome visitor hurtling our way, the first step involves making absolutely sure we’re not just seeing things. It’d be quite the faux pas to sound the alarm, only to find out it was just a particularly shiny satellite. Once the threat is confirmed, NASA would issue an official alert, with the government of the impact zone getting first dibs on the info before it’s broadcasted to the rest of us.

Now, how the government decides to break the news is anyone’s guess. Perhaps a press conference, an emergency broadcast, or maybe just a very serious tweet? From there, the United Nations gets a heads-up because, let’s face it, if a giant asteroid is crashing our planetary party, it’s an all-hands-on-deck situation.

But here’s where it gets interesting (or terrifying, depending on how you look at it). The response to an impending asteroid impact depends on how much time we’ve got. If the asteroid plans to RSVP years in advance, we might be able to give it a nudge off course. If it’s more of a last-minute guest, showing up with less than five years’ notice, blasting it to bits might be our only option. And if it’s just months away? Well, let’s just say you might want to start working on your bucket list.

The good news is, thanks to our space vigilance, spotting these potential party crashers decades in advance is more likely, giving us ample time to prepare our cosmic deflection strategies. And no, we’re not making this up to get you used to the idea of “imminent, inescapable death.” NASA’s already tested the waters with a method called “kinetic impact” — think of it as playing cosmic billiards, where we aim to knock the asteroid off course with a high-mass object.

So, while the thought of a world-ending asteroid might give you more anxiety than a coffee overdose, rest assured that NASA’s on the case. And in the unlikely event that we do find ourselves facing down a space rock with a vengeance, at least we’ll know there’s a plan in place. Just maybe keep that Aerosmith track handy, you know, for ambiance.