NASA just failed miserably at protecting New York from a fake asteroid

It’s the Hollywood scenario of our nightmares.

An asteroid shoots towards the Earth, our security services try and fail to deter it, and a chunk of it crashes into one of the most densely populated cities on Earth.

This scenario will undoubtedly be giving NASA scientists a similar headache after they failed to stop a simulated asteroid from obliterating New York City.

Experts from governments across the world took part in the simulation on Friday to test their response to the not entirely unlikely event of an asteroid shooting towards the planet.

The scientists were given a simulated eight years to respond and were initially told the virtual asteroid would likely not collide with the Earth.

But it did.

And space agencies from countries across the world took things very seriously, sending kinetic impactors into (fake) space to try and deflect the asteroid from its course, but to small effect.

With two simulated months to go until impact, authorities were forced to evacuate the city.

This brought its own difficulties.

As Brandy Johnson, an "angry citizen" in the simulation, told AFP:

"Two months may not be enough time to really evacuate, because you're evacuating people who are stuck, who have to rebuild their lives where they're going."

The asteroid entered the Earth’s atmosphere at 43,000 mph and exploded nearly 10 miles above Manhattan with the energy of 1000 times the Hiroshima bomb.

Paul Chodas, the creator of the scenario and the director of the Centre for Near Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said:

"We need to challenge ourselves and ask the tough questions.

"You don't learn anything if you don't study the worst possible case each day."

While it would be fair to expect this news to induce some level of panic, Twitter remained disturbingly chill.

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