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Asteroid Predicted to Hit Earth on July 12, 2038! NASA Issues Alert and Begins Planetary Defense Exercise with 14.25-Year Warning

Image Source: nasa.gov

NASA has issued an alert about an asteroid, 2024 KN1, which measures up to 88 feet—the size of a large airplane—heading towards Earth. This asteroid is set for a close approach on June 23, 2024, at 11:39 PM IST, and could potentially affect the entire planet.

During the biennial Planetary Defense Interagency Tabletop Exercise, NASA discovered that there is a 72% chance this potentially hazardous asteroid might hit Earth, revealing that we may not be adequately prepared to prevent such an impact.

Lindley Johnson, the Planetary Defense Officer Emeritus at NASA Headquarters in Washington, commented, “The uncertainties in these initial conditions for the exercise allowed participants to consider a particularly challenging set of circumstances. A large asteroid impact is potentially the only natural disaster humanity has the technology to predict years in advance and take action to prevent.”

The exercise summary noted, “Participants considered potential national and global responses to a hypothetical scenario in which a never-before-detected asteroid was identified that had, according to initial calculations, a 72% chance of hitting Earth in approximately 14 years.”

Specifically, the asteroid has a 72% chance of impacting Earth on July 12, 2038, giving us a warning time of 14.25 years.

The exercise also highlighted several critical gaps in Earth’s preparedness: undefined decision-making processes and risk tolerance, limited readiness for rapid implementation of space missions, the need for timely global coordination of messaging, and undefined asteroid-impact disaster management plans.

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