Another huge asteroid passed by Earth on June 14, and this time it was even closer to us than the moon. Although it passed by on Friday, it wasn?t detected until the following Monday, so we would have been taken completely by surprise.
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First tourists were paying big bucks to visit the International Space Station?now the Japanese are arranging for people to autograph an asteroid.

The Japanese Muses-C spacecraft is the first craft designed to visit an asteroid and return to Earth after taking geological samples. It will be ready for takeoff in November or December and will land on asteroid SF36 in 2005. “The mission to return a sample of the asteroid to Earth is a bold and scientifically valuable undertaking,” says Louis Friedman, executive director of the Planetary Society.
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The U.S. federal government is gathering the world’s top scientists together in September for a strategy conference to plan defenses against an attack that could wipe out an American city or disrupt the whole country’s infrastructure?and it has nothing to do with Islamic terrorists.

The scientists will try to figure out how to combat an asteroid attack, like the one that killed the dinosaurs 65 million years ago and flattened a Siberian forest in 1908.
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Sooner or later, a catastrophe from space will wipe out almost all life on Earth, according to Dr Arnon Dar of the Technion Space Research Institute in Israel. A particular type of exploding star going off anywhere in our region of the Universe would devastate our planet.

Using the latest statistics and calculations, Dar says that a supermassive star collapsing at the end of its lifetime would form a black hole and send out a beam of destructive radiation and particles that would sterilize any planet in its path. The odds are that any planet in our galaxy would be affected about once every one hundred million years. “It is a certainty; the timescales are comparable to mass extinctions seen in Earth’s geological record,” he says.
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