The European Space Agency (ESA) is launching its first-ever live social media trial run underlining the actions that scientists, space agencies and civil protection agencies might have to take if a giant asteroid might slam into the Earth.
However, this is not the first of this kind of training. ESA reported that asteroid researchers team up to mimic what actions would they take in the event of a major asteroid impact. Each team attendant takes the roles assigned such as ‘national government’, ‘space agency’, ‘astronomer’, and ‘civil protection agent’.
The fictitious disaster has a mysterious end, and to find it out, the public is called to watch live the updates from the exercise on the @esaoperationsTwitter channel. The drill will run from this Monday to Friday (April 29 to May 3).
The drill is created by NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, and is also part of the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in Washington D.C.
Rüdiger Jehn, ESA’s head of Planetary Defence, explained in the statement that in order to know how to protect the planet, they have to know what is out there.
Such an impact might actually happen, as of April 2019 researchers have listed around 20,000 asteroids that are cycling close to the Earth. Considering the fact that approximately 150 of these neighboring asteroids are identified every month, the number will only grow.
The ESA specified that in learning about asteroids, new technologies are assisting the space agencies, for instance the ESA’s new Flyeye and test-Bed Telescopes set to be displayed soon will assist ESA find, certify and understand these space rocks.
Meanwhile, you can check out the ESA’s Facebook page which will stream two live videos from the Planetary Defense Conference. The first video will began at 8 a.m EDT (14.00 Central European Summer Time) on April 28, Sunday, with Jehn. The second live stream video will begin in the morning of Thursday, May 2 (midafternoon European time).