Asteroid panic: ‘Most devastating natural disaster known to man!’ Shock NASA warning

A top scientist has urged the world’s leaders to spend more money on planetary defence from , warning if they don’t it could be too little, too late. While asteroid impacts on the scale of the one which struck Earth 65 million years ago, ending the dinosaurs’ reign, are exceedingly rare, they are still possible, one expert has warned. Lindley Johnson, the planetary defence officer for NASA, has said that an impact could spell the end for humanity.

Mr Johnson told journalist Bryan Walsh for his new book End Times: “In the order of things people should be worried about, Near Earth Objects isn’t highest on the list.

“But it does have the potential to be the most devastating natural disaster known to man.

“All the money would be worthwhile if it prevents an event that could take hundreds of billions of dollars to recover from – if we are even able to recover.

“It’s definitely worth governments spending a bit of their treasure to find these things ahead of time, because you can’t do anything unless you find them.”

Even asteroid strikes on a much smaller scale still have the potential to cause huge damage to our planet.

Scientists often point to two relatively recent incidents in which the rocks were not detected which prove Earth is still vulnerable to asteroid impacts.

In 1908, a small asteroid exploded over Siberia’s Tunguska which ruined woodlands across 800 miles.

In 2013, a 20 metre meteor exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia, which smashed windows and caused injuries to more than 1,000 people.

READ MORE: Asteroid apocalypse: How scientist revealed 'biggest threat’ 

Part of the reason NASA is sending the OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft there is to gather more information about the space rock which is 500 metres in length.

NASA fears that the asteroid, which has the potential to wipe out a country on Earth, could hit our planet within the next 120 years, with the next close flyby in 2135.

The mission will give vital information on how to deflect asteroids from their collision course with Earth.

But NASA reiterates that while there is a small chance Earth could be impacted, “over millions of years, of all of the planets, Bennu is most likely to hit Venus.”

The ESA has invested £21million in projects such as the Human Exploration Research Analog (Hera) mission, which will study the Didymos binary asteroid, set to fly past Earth in 2022.

Studies such as Hera will help the ESA better understand how it can protect our planet from killer asteroid strikes.

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