The leader of Asgardia, which styles itself as humanity’s first “space nation,” has a warning for world leaders: a life-threatening asteroid impact is “inevitable” unless we do something to stop it.
“In the last 100 years, the Earth has been hit at least three times by space objects, each with an explosive power many times greater than the Hiroshima atomic bomb,” Igor Ashurbeyli said in a press release. “Future life-threatening impacts are inevitable unless defences [defenses] are built.”
“World leaders must intensify efforts to detect and track [near-earth objects] and create ways to deflect them from a strike on earth,” he added.
Let’s be real: It’d be easy to dismiss anything that comes from Asgardia as a joke. The nation is little more than an idealistic concept at this point — it doesn’t have anywhere for its citizens to live, and its name sounds kinda silly.
However, Ashurbeyli isn’t the first person to express concerns that an asteroid could wipe out humanity — scientists and other experts have been sounding the warningfor years.
He also isn’t the only one who thinks world leaders aren’t doing enough to protect the planet from the threat — retired NASA astronaut Russell “Rusty” Schweickart recently asserted that the United States should be doing a lot more to detect potential asteroid strikes.
Thankfully, space agencies aren’t completely ignoring the threat of Earth-bound asteroids.
NASA is currently developing a probe to smash into incoming asteroids to redirect them away from the Earth, with plans to launch in 2020 or 2021. The European Space Agency, meanwhile, is developing a “self-driving” spacecraft to work in conjunction with NASA’s probe.
Whether these projects will be ready in time to prevent an asteroid from smashing into the Earth and causing humanity to go the way of the dinosaur, however, is currently impossible to predict.