Close Enough Encounters

We’re watching the series V about an alien arrival.  Are they good? Are they evil?  Do they want to enslave us or be our friends? 

Meanwhile, we learn that a space rock about the size of a garage came within 14,000 kilometres of earth just 15 hours after it was detected.  14,000 kms is a long way if you’re going by bike but in space terms, it’s a near miss.  An object the size of a garage isn’t big enough to cause a worldwide catastrophe but something that size, hurtling through space and hitting, say, Mississauga, is going to kill a lot of people and cause a lot of damage. 

NASA has its eye on the truly massive asteroids and other potential threats to our planet but these smaller ones are harder to detect.  And unlike in the movies, the space agency isn’t likely to send up Bruce Willis to explode it although we wish he would do that rather than attempt to play an average guy in another film.  But I digress.

Aliens and asteroids are, of course, completely different things.  But asteroids are alien to us and we really need to come up with some solid plans about how to deal with them, especially if there’s only going to be half a day’s notice.  Personally, I’d like a phone call as a courtesy to say, hey, you’re in the path of a solid rock garage that’s going to land on you like a bolt out of the blue.  How about taking a day trip, just to be on the safe side?  I’d happily scoot off to say, Topeka Kansas or Abilene Texas for a day or two, just until things settled down.  I’d even take a few non-driving neighbours with me to get them out of harm’s way.  I could organize an evacuation pretty quickly.  I’m good that way. There’s nothing like the threat of imminent death to get these feet moving.  So how about it, NASA?  If I send you my number will you keep it on file, just in case I end up in the path of the next flying garage?