If an asteroid were ever to be come hurtling towards Earth, what would be the plan to stop it from impacting the planet?
That’s the question NASA and its partners, including the European Space Agency and the U.S.’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), are gathering at the 2019 Planetary Defense Conference in early May to investigate.
During the five day conference, NASA and its partners plan to engage in a “tabletop exercise” that simulates what would happen if scientists and authorities were to learn of a near-Earth Object (NEO) impact scenario.
“A tabletop exercise of a simulated emergency commonly used in disaster management planning to help inform involved players of important aspects of a possible disaster and identify issues for accomplishing a successful response,” says NASA.
In the exercise (detailed by the ESA here), NASA and its partners have to respond to a “realistic — but fictional — scenario” involving a NEO named “2019 PDC,” which has a 1 in 100 chance of impacting Earth in 2027.