Asteroid Apophis: Dealing with Earth's Future Troublemaker
Leonard David writes on Space.com:
The potential for a newly discovered asteroid smacking into the Earth in 2036 cannot be discounted. NASA has sketched out a response strategy in the outside possibility that the space rock becomes a true threat.
NASA’s action plan was the result of prodding by a group of astronauts, scientists and other technical specialists uneasy about the current lack of action to protect the Earth from the impact of near Earth objects (NEOs).
The object was found last year through the efforts of NASA’s Spaceguard Survey. In 1998 NASA formally initiated the Spaceguard Survey by adopting the objective of finding 90 percent of the near Earth asteroids larger than 3,280 feet (one kilometer) diameter within the next decade - before the end of 2008.