NASA's creation of a well-funded Planetary Defense Coordination Office to deal with the remote possibility of an asteroid collision with Earth is driven by both growing concern about near-Earth objects and developing American strategy for space.
If an asteroid comes too close to Earth, NASA will be ready.
The preparations for Armageddon-style asteroid collision answer calls by scientists who are discovering the volume of asteroids, comets, and space junk that they say potentially threatens our planet.
It will be a costly operation. The 2016 US budget provides $50 million to set up a Planetary Defense Coordination Office.
"While the annual probability of the Earth being struck by a huge asteroid or comet is small, the consequences of such a collision are so calamitous that it is prudent to appraise the nature of the threat and prepare to deal with it," experts say.
A planetary defense system gives NASA a ready answer for the next time news reports of too-close asteroids alarm the populace.