The coronavirus that originated from Wuhan, China, continues to wreak havoc all over the world, and as per the latest figures, the pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 4,36,000 people worldwide. Even though the pandemic has negatively impacted all aspects of life, some experts believe that the global catastrophe has a positive side, as it will help humans to prepare for a deadly asteroid hit that could happen in the future.
Coronavirus a Good Cause?
Retired NASA astronaut Thomas Jones who is currently chairing the Association of Space Explorers' Near Earth Objects Committee revealed that the coronavirus outbreak actually provides a chance to humans to prepare themselves to stay safe during times more devastating events like asteroid hits.
"Speaking for myself, the novel coronavirus is a good case study of mistakes to avoid when planning to prevent an asteroid impact," said Jones, Space.com reports.
However, Jones warned that the world should be completely united in the wake of dreaded events like asteroid hits. Several countries have adopted different strategies to combat the coronavirus pandemic, but this strategy will not help during times of a global space event.
"This is understandable, but it's not a good model for dealing with an asteroid impact threat. A fragmented, staggered and uneven response to an impact threat is a recipe for delay and inaction, foreclosing options to deflect the asteroid. We'll need transparent sharing of all observations of the object, and international vetting of all the impact predictions," added Jones.
Planetary Defense Weapon and Safeguarding the World
As NASA is busy developing a planetary defense weapon to deflect incoming asteroids, experts like Jones believe that an internationally supported consortium is very much necessary to carry out these global missions, where the entire world should work as a single entity.
"Any required deflection campaign will only succeed if an internationally supported consortium develops and carries out the effort, with ongoing, shared insight into every step of development. Open cooperation gives us the best chance to assess the threat properly, mount a series of credible deflection missions (if needed) and turn away an impact catastrophe," said Jones.
However, some space experts believe that NASA's plans to deflect asteroids will not work when it comes to larger asteroids. According to the space experts, the only option to protect the Earth from larger asteroids is by nuking them.