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This is how NASA would warn the public is the world was about to end

This is how NASA would warn the public is the world was about to end

NASA has all kinds of plans in place if we were faced with an apocalyptic event.

Ever wondered whether you'd get a warning if there was about to be an apocalyptic event?

Well, it's not quite as dramatic as you might imagine, but NASA and other space agencies have loads of contingency plans in place in case we're ever faced with a catastrophic asteroid collision.

That's famously what put an end to the age of dinosaurs, after all, and it would be similarly cataclysmic for humanity if it happened to us now.

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However, the amount of space surveying experts do means we'll likely know about such a massive event quite far in advance.

After all, NASA is constantly monitoring the near misses of asteroids and other dangers, making much of that information public.

Speaking to Business Insider, Lindley Johnson, Lead Program Executive for the Planetary Defense Coordination Office at NASA said that in the event of a major asteroid hurtling towards our planet, NASA would act quickly.

Firstly, it would notify the White House, although it would be sure to verify and check its findings before making that escalation.

From there, the government would decide whether a public announcement is necessary (or at what point this should happen), while coordinating on whether there would be a way to divert the asteroid course.

Apparently, if the asteroid was at least five to 10 years away, we'd have a good chance of managing it - but if the timeline was shorter it might be a question of whether we could instead destroy it before impact. This would probably involve nuclear missiles specifically designed to be fired into space.

Adastra / Getty

NASA has already successfully tested the theory by using an unmanned craft to ram an asteroid off course, so it's definitely promising in that area, and our history of spotting asteroids years in advance is also a comfort.

Still, it does sound like there are small chances that events could fall into place and turn into the sort of situation depicted in disaster movies, with the government forced to let people know what's going to happen through a formal public announcement.

It might be remote, but that's still a somewhat scary thought if you aren't won over by the calm confidence of NASA and its plans.

For our money, though, it's good to know that there are procedures waiting to click in just in case this sort of crazy scenario does start to take shape.

Featured Image Credit: Michael Dunning/Yaorusheng/Getty