Russia: We'll Save Earth From Asteroid
Space agency confirms secret talks are in works
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2009 1:06 PM CST
An image mosaic of the asteroid Eros, with sunlight coming from the northeast, taken by the robotic NEAR Shoemaker space probe March 3, 2000.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A 1,150-foot asteroid on a collision course with Earth could create a France-sized desert in 2036—unless Russian scientists can avert the catastrophe. No, it’s not the plot of a science-fiction movie; the head of Russia’s space agency confirms secret talks are in the works to prevent just such a tragedy, AFP reports. NASA, however, stated back in October the likelihood of a collision had dropped from one-in-45,000 to four-in-a-million.

Still, “we are talking about people's lives,” Russia’s Anatoly Perminov says. “Better to spend a few hundred million dollars to create a system for preventing a collision than to wait until it happens and hundreds of thousands of people are killed.”