An international exercise to simulate an asteroid striking Earth has come to an end. With just six days to go before a fictitious impact, things don’t look good for a 185-mile-wide region between Prague and Munich.
This may sound like a grim role-playing game, but it’s very serious business. Led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies, the asteroid impact simulation is meant to prepare scientists, planners, and key decision makers for the real thing, should it ever occur. The tabletop exercise began this past Monday, and it’s happening virtually at the 7th IAA Planetary Defense Conference, which is being hosted by the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs with help from ESA.