Armageddon could become a reality if funding for NASA mission to deflect an asteroid from Earth is cut.
The Double Asteroid Redirection test has been designed to protect Earth from the deadly Didymos asteroid. The 160m asteroid has skimmed Earth’s surface before and space boffins want to launch a probe onto a nearby moon to monitor its trajectory.
Then if the asteroid goes too close, NASA could launch an Armageddon style mission to deflect it away from our home planet.
In 2022, the Didymos asteroids are predicted to cross paths with Earth and NASA want to have their probe operational by then. But the mission has been put to hold as Trump focuses funding on land missions on March.
With current technology, by the time NASA realised an asteroid was about to hit the Earth, it would be too late to do anything about it.
Jim Green, NASA’s Planetary Science Division director, fears Trump’s administration may hold back funding for the mission. He also said the DART project was essential to prepare humanity or a killer asteroid like the Chicxulub impactor which wiped out the dinosaurs.
He added: “In terms of a planetary defence activity, it’s a great idea, something we’re going to have to do. We’re as far along as we can be before the budget decisions come in.”