When the movie Contagion came out in 2011, pretty sure nobody thought the reel story may become real. But here we are, 10 years down the line, living in the throes of the now-nightmarish film. Those who survived 2020 are living through the year 2021, and are cautiously stepping into 2022, careful not to jinx the future.
That’s why this decision of NASA has made some people nervous. They think NASA may be poking the bear, literally.
WHAT: On November 24, a spacecraft blasted off the Vandenberg Space Force Base in California. The spacecraft, roughly the size of an autorickshaw, will travel over 6 million miles away from Earth and then CRASH into a target asteroid. Scientists want to observe whether the asteroid’s course of movement changes; with an aim to develop a planetary defence system to thwart any future apocalyptic asteroid crashes on Earth. You know, like the kind that made dinosaurs go extinct.
We've received our first signals from #DARTMission, which will continue to roll out its solar arrays in the coming hours and prepare for its 10-month, one-way trip to the asteroid Dimorphos. pic.twitter.com/ZIQphWwhTS— NASA (@NASA) November 24, 2021
But why is this test making some people nervous?
Well, given the period humanity is living through at the moment - which puts to shame some of the best apocalyptic and high-budget movies - some are worried if the test will backfire. Covid-19 pandemic has taught us to expect the worst to befall humanity.
This man fears that the interference may actually change the course of the asteroid towards – yes you can guess – the EARTH!!
The way 2021 is going, it sounds like we’ll change the trajectory of the test asteroid and send it directly at Earth.— Eric J (@Eric__Jones) November 19, 2021
He is not the only one to think so. There are many other netizens who have also expressed similar concerns.
Accidentally changing it course straight to Earth. pic.twitter.com/5mA7do2sUc— Marco (@__Marco________) November 21, 2021
Then, there are also some who want the asteroid to hit Earth and wipe everyone out. Figures. The pandemic seems to have sucked the life of those living too; an asteroid may be a blessing.
The way 2021 is going, I’d welcome it— David Shuck (@dshuck) November 20, 2021
Now the big question: Is it really a genuine concern?
According to NASA, the asteroid is a safe target and doesn't pose a threat to Earth. The target asteroid called Dimorphos is closely orbiting another asteroid called Didymos. Besides, it will take the spacecraft at least 10 months to make the trip. The crash is expected only between September and October 2022.
At least NASA’s idea of crashing an unmanned spacecraft into an asteroid seems better than what the movies have come up with. For one, they wouldn’t be sending Bruce Willis and a team of misfits to save humanity, you know. Like in Armageddon.