On February 15th, a 10-tonne meteorite streaked across the sky and exploded over central Russia, sending fireballs crashing to earth which shattered windows and damaged buildings, injuring more than 1,200 people.
The meteor strike halted traffic in Chelyabinsk,an industrial city as residents poured out on the streets to watch the cosmic show before sreaming in panic as a sonic boom shattered glass and set off car alarms. Emergencies Minister Vladimir Puchkov stressed that no fragments had been discovered anywhere in the region so far despite some 20,000 rescuers and recovery workers being dispatched there.
While NASA's eyes were on 2012 DA 14, an asteroid which whizzed safely past Earth at the unprecedented distance of 27,000 kilometers, UNETIDA were tasked with handling the object that would actually collide with the planet. "We were damn lucky with how this turned out" said Colonel "Whopper"Creedon speaking personally from the point of impact at Lake Chebarkul, 80 kilometers west of Chelyabinsk. "If this had actually hit a city there'd be a lot more than a thosand folks doing a lot more than picking shards of class ot of their faces." The Colonel added "It's not really our mandate to do this kind of work, a more permanent solution is needed."
NASA scientists estimated that the energy released from impact with the atmosphere was about 30 times greater than the force of the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima. "We would expect an event of this magnitude to occur once every 100 years on average,” said Paul Chodas of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office.
“Instead of fighting on Earth, people should be creating a joint system of asteroid defence,” wrote Alexei Pushkov, Russian parliament’s foreign affairs committee chief and close ally of President Putin. "Instead of creating a (military) European space defence system, the United States should join us and China in creating the AADS – the Anti-Asteroid Defence System.”
Source: Dawn.com / BBC / FOX News