What If a Killer Asteroid Were Headed Toward Earth? NASA Plans to Find Out This Week - NBC Bay Area
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What If a Killer Asteroid Were Headed Toward Earth? NASA Plans to Find Out This Week

The exercise is like a fire drill for the kind of impact that is believed to have killed the dinosaurs, said one asteroid expert

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    This file photo shows a crater near Winslow in northeast Arizona.

    NASA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and partners in other countries are holding an exercise to plan what would happen if an asteroid were discovered heading for Earth, NBC News reported.

    It will play out over the five days of the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference being held this week in College Park, Maryland.

    The exercise is like a fire drill for the kind of impact that is believed to have killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, said Andrew Rivkin, a planetary astronomer at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in an email. He said he was taking part the exercise.

    "It's definitely worth doing, if only so people are aware of the issues and how complex some of them are," Rivkin said.