Of course, “close” is a relative term in these situations. Asteroid 2005 YU 55 (who could use a catchier name) is projected to sail by us around 201,000 miles away. But don’t get too comfy — that’s closer than the moon passes in its orbit. And though NASA scientists are saying reassuring things (“There is no chance that this object will collide with Earth or moon”), isn’t that what they always do before the handsome renegade steps in to save us all?
But some among us are welcoming the near appearance of this space rock. As per the directions of President Obama, NASA has recently shifted its focus to try to land a human on one of these near-Earth asteroids. According to scientists at Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory, the plan is to land a robot on an asteroid by 2015. If we make it until then, that is.