The Extinction Protocol
An artist’s conception of DA 14, the asteroid expected to whizz past Earth February 15 on the closest approach in history.
February 9, 2013– SPACE – Talk about too close for comfort. In a rare cosmic encounter, an asteroid will buzz Earth next week, missing our planet by a mere 17,200 miles (27,700 kilometers). Designated 2012 DA14, the space rock is approximately 150 feet (45 meters) across, and astronomers are certain it will zip harmlessly past our planet on February 15—but not before making history. It will pass within the orbits of many communications satellites, making it the closest flyby on record. “This is indeed a remarkably close approach for an asteroid this size,” said Paul Chodas, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Near Earth Object (NEO) program office in Pasadena, California. “We estimate that an asteroid of this size passes this close to the Earth only…
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