NASA has previously reported that the 1998 OR2 asteroid would pass within a close distance of Earth on April 29th. The space rock is labeled as a near-Earth object (NEO) and is one of the numerous cosmic rocks to wander around in our Solar System.
Although the space agency clearly explained that the asteroid could not impact our planet, Times columnist Matthew Parris sparked fears as he proceeded to draw a list of similarities between an asteroid collision and pandemic readiness.
Parris said that if a massive asteroid was expected to collide with Earth, questions would be asked as to why we were not prepared. He claimed that the world has to find the ideal balance of proper preparation for catastrophic events and an understanding of their likelihood.
Investing in Unknown Threats
The columnist also talked about the issue of investing everything into preventive campaigns against a threat we don’t know anything about.
He said: “The fact is once something has happened, one becomes acutely aware of the possibility that it might have happened in the past. The things that haven’t happened yet, we don’t think about. We could think about them all day and night, and we would end up completely paralyzed by spending everything we had on preparing things that might happen.”
He kept insisting that in regard to asteroid protection, a balance has to be made.
“I think the point is that we need to rebalance this balance,” Parris said.
At its closest, NASA said that asteroid OR2 would approach Earth at about 3.9 million miles (6.29 million kilometers). Space rocks that come rather closer to our planet at less than 0.05 AU (astronomical units) are monitored by NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) and can be checked on their website.