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The UN Is Assembling a Team to Save Us From Killer Asteroids

It Came From Outer Space

Wrong franchise, Batfleck. You’re not supposed to assemble. Now get out of here.

That meteor that hit Russia back in February—you know, the one that no one saw coming, the landing of which caused several injuries and some severely rad dashcam footage—has spurred the UN to think heyyyy, maybe we should devote more attention to giant rocks that come winging out of space and might kill us all.

To that end they’ve created the International Asteroid Warning Group, which in theory will put a stop to asteroids with death on their spacerock minds. If the group sees an asteroid heading our way they’ll pass that info on to the UN’s Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (as opposed to the Committee on the Warmongering Uses of Outer Space), whose job it’ll be to send a spacecraft to knock the asteroid out of orbit. Teamwork!

Explains former astronaut and Association of Space Explorers member Ed Lu, one of those who recommended the program to the UN:

“There are 100 times more asteroids out there than we have found. There are about 1 million asteroids large enough to destroy New York City or larger. Our challenge is to find these asteroids first before they find us.”

One: You will never be a member of an organization as cool-sounding as the Association of Space Explorers. I’m sorry. You’ll have to give up the ghost on that one.

Two: I was all ready to stop it with the stupid jokes and take this story seriously–it’s a very important, praiseworthy thing the UN has done here, after all—until I read the sentence “Our challenge is to find these asteroids first before they find us.” That really does make it sound like a Michael Bay movie.

Armageddon 2: This time… it’s personal

Armageddon 3: Watch your asteroid

Armageddon 4: The Rockening

OK, OK, I’m done.

(Scientific American, via Salon)

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