Scientists say they finally have the know-how to save the Earth from a real life Armageddon.
Experts reckon they have “crossed a technological threshold” that would allow them to prevent humanity from being wiped out in a giant asteroid strike.
One such event 66 million years ago led to the extinction of dinosaurs.
And Bruce Willis saved Earth from such a strike in 1998 film Armageddon.
Profs Philip Lubin and Alex Cohen, from the University of California Santa Barbara wrote: "We show that humanity has crossed a technological threshold to prevent us from going the way of the dinosaurs."
But they warn allowing a similar-sized object to enter the Earth’s atmosphere again could trigger staggering atmospheric temperature rises of 300C and destroying virtually all life on Earth.
The duo discuss several different options on how to prevent it favouring the PI – or 'Pulverize It’ – method.
That would involve using an array of penetrators to inject nuclear detonators that would split the asteroid into fragments which would either miss Earth entirely or be small enough to burn up in the atmosphere.
The paper also considers the option deployed in 1999 movie Armageddon where oil rig workers – played by Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck – are hired by Nasa to drill into an asteroid the size of Texas and detonate a nuclear bomb to break it into pieces.
In other space news, China and Russia are joining forces to build a research station on the Moon by 2035, officials from the China National Space Administration (CNSA) have confirmed.
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The plans were announced today to build the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), which will rival NASA's Lunar Gateway.
It is claimed the venture is part of China's plan to land its first astronauts on the Moon.
The two countries aim to complete basic infrastructure construction for the station by 2035, Wu Yanhua, the CNSA deputy director, told a briefing in Beijing.
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