NASA asteroid WARNING: Major impact expected says agency boss – 'this is NOT a movie'

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Mr Bridenstine said the public write off the severity of the risk from an asteroid. The congressional representative spoke about the threat of an Earth-altering asteroid during a speech at the International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defense Conference. He said the idea of an asteroid colliding with Earth is met with a “giggle factor”.

Mr Bridenstine said: “We have to make sure that people understand that this is not about Hollywood, it’s not about movies.

“This is about ultimately protecting the only planet we know, right now, to host life and that is the planet Earth.

“We have to use our systems, use our capabilities to ultimately get a lot more data, and we have to do it faster.

“We know for a fact that the dinosaurs did not have a space program. But we do, and we need to use it.”

READ MORE: NASA scientist claims there’s a BLACK HOLE inside of Earth

In 2013, a 20-metre (65 foot) meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk in Russia just 14 miles from the Earth’s surface, according to NASA.

The meteor reportedly damaged buildings in the area and sent more than a thousand people to hospital due to the debris causing a shockwave, the next web reported.

Mr Bridenstine added: “These events are not rare. They happen.”

While the 20th century saw three impacts including one in Tunguska, Russia which covered 2,000 square kilometres (1,242 miles).

However, NASA is currently working on trading 90 percent of asteroids which are more than 140 metres in size.

Elon Musk and SpaceX are reportedly aiding the tracking after NASA paid the company $69million (£53million) to solve the problem.

In a joint mission, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) will send a rocket to collide with a near-Earth asteroid.

The asteroid will be steered away from Earth if the test DART is successful.



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