The good news is that we’ll all be dead before this happens: NASA is considering landing a probe on an 1,800 foot-wide asteroid that has a one-in-1,000 chance of hitting Earth in a devastating collision. NASA is calling the mission OSIRIS-Rex, and it would take off in 2106 to take samples from the asteroid. OSIRIS-Rex is part of the agency’s New Frontiers program and is competing against a mission to land on Venus (the winner will be announced next year). Asteroid 1999 RQ36, as it’s called, is an easy target because it comes so close to the Earth. And that’s what makes it dangerous, officially classified as a “potentially hazardous asteroid.” An impact would be the equivalent of hundreds of huge nuclear bombs going off at once.
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