WORLD TO END IN 2040 NASA finds as­ter­oid set to smash into Earth

Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By NEIL GOOD­WIN

WOR­RIED boffins at NASA are hatch­ing an Ar­maged­don-style plot to blow up a huge as­ter­oid spot­ted hurtling to­wards Earth.

Sci­en­tists have iden­ti­fied a rock 460ft wide and dubbed it ‘2011 AG5’. It could smash into our planet in just 30 years’ time.

If the lump strikes a city it would leave mil­lions dead, end­ing the world as we know it. And the pesky rock is ex­pected on Feb 5, 2040.

Ex­perts are de­bat­ing whether to fire a mis­sile – or even a NUKE – into its path to try to al­ter its deadly tra­jec­tory – just like the sto­ry­line of Bruce Wil­lis’ 1998 ac­tion flick.

One source at the space agency said: “It sounds like sci­ence fic­tion, but it could very soon be­come sci­ence fact.

“If this as­ter­oid is on a col­li­sion course with Earth, sci­en­tists will do ev­ery­thing in their power to re­pel it.”

NASA’S pre­ferred way to steer the as­ter­oid away from mankind is to fire a probe into it, and to use the ex­tra grav­ity the craft gen­er­ates to steer the rock away over mil­lions of light years.

Nu­clear weapons have also been dis­cussed. While this would cre­ate a shower of rocks, in­stead of just one, it’s hoped the small chunks would break up as they en­tered Earth’s at­mos­phere.

The chances of the as­ter­oid hit­ting Earth are, in space terms, tiny, say sci­en­tists.

ARMAGEDON OUTA HERE: But can Bruce save us this time?

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