Well, I am not sure what the actual terminology for “close, but no cigar” would be in the scientific community, and I am pretty positive the word “whoops” probably isn’t in NASA’s lexicon either. However, a recent headline in the news sure made me wonder what words were being tossed around at NASA a few days ago, when the headline read; “Asteroid collision with Earth ruled out by NASA…hours later it smashes into the Caribbean.” Uh, excuse me, what?!? An asteroid comes hurling towards Earth, NASA says…”nah, nothing to worry about,” then a few hours later, the same asteroid actually does crash into the Earth?!?
Now, there have been times in my life while doing my job I have gotten things wrong. Well, to be honest, I have been wrong several times whilst at my job. But then I realize my mistakes and I move forward, better prepared for next time. However, as a mere orange farmer, my mistakes will generally just affect me and my crops and at times the rest of my crew. NASA on the other hand, when they get things wrong, it can obviously affect more than just a few thousand orange trees. In fact, there are a whole lot of us that kind of depend on them getting it right…THE FIRST TIME! Believe me, with only a high school education and few years of college under my belt, it’s safe to say I am not NASA scientist material, and I understand they have big, important jobs to do, which are way above my pay grade. But how about this…next time there is an asteroid flying through space and there is the possibility of the thing getting close enough to our celestial neighborhood, and could potentially crash into the Earth, whadda’ say we double check our math? I get it, there are lots of variables that go into trying to determine when and where and how fast an object will go whizzing by the planet, and whether or not it could crash into us. And maybe “common core” math might be to blame, I don’t know, but hey NASA, this isn’t The Weather Channel where you get to say there is only a 20% chance of rain, while it’s pouring outside on your weekend BBQ! Furthermore NASA, you guys aren’t exactly the US Geological Survey either (the folks that track earthquakes), where you get to tell us how big the quake was, AFTER the quake hits. Seems to me NASA needs to worry a little less about how we can someday survive on Mars, and a little more on how we can (today) live here on good ol’ planet Earth! Maybe we can start with double, and maybe even triple checking the odds of life altering, small planet size boulders of death, crashing into our planet and ruining our Disneyland vacation plans.
Who knows, maybe some of the “black helicopter,” conspiracy types are right, when they say that; “if NASA and the government knew a big, devastating object was going to hit Earth, the government wouldn’t tell us.”
I suppose in some alternate universe there are giant dinosaurs just rolling their eyes at us, saying; “awe…silly humans, if you only knew… if you only knew.”
Well, until our spinning planet we call home gets pummeled by a giant, flaming, ball of death that NASA isn't telling anyone about, I’ll see you in the groves…with my hard hat on.
Thanks for reading,