An asteroid impact 65 billion years ago in what is modern-day Mexico, set off a global chain of events that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. More recently, in September 1859, a powerful solar storm known as the Carrington Event, spewed enough energy at the Earth to cause widespread tech blackouts and power grid failures if it hit today. And about six billion years from now, our life-giving Sun will expand into a Red Giant star, swallowing the planets Mercury, Venus and maybe even the Earth. These are just some of the space-based threats that could one day render Earth inhospitable or destroy our homeworld completely.
It is because of threats like these that many scientists are concerned about the future of mankind.
In most cases, it is hard to predict when a comics threat is headed right for the planet.
Astronomers at NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have a pretty decent idea about the number of asteroids orbiting the Earth that pose a potential threat.
But in 2013 a rogue space rock exploded over Russia’s Chelyabinsk Oblast, proving there are still many dangers we are not ready to face.
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As a result, Lena De Winne, Head of Information and Communications at Asgardia, believes the future of humanity rests on becoming a spaceborne species.
There are threats coming from space
Asgardia is the world’s first space nation – a micronation founded in 2016 with the goal of establishing a human presence in space.
Although not officially recognised as a nation-state, Asgardia’s founders believe humanity should fly to the stars in the name of scientific progress and pushing the boundaries.
The threat of losing the Earth to an asteroid strike or solar flare is just one of the reasons why Asgardians believe the time to act is now.
Ms De Winne told Express.co.uk: “There are threats coming from space. There are natural threats and then there are manmade threats.
“There is a lot of space debris and it can, unfortunately, cause damage to the existing satellites, spacecraft, it can also deorbit in a nonlinear way.
“There are also meteorites, there are solar flares, there’s space radiation.
“All of this is also indiscriminately dangerous to any human on Earth, to any living being.”
Part of Asgardia’s plan to move humanity into space involves “equal protection for all” from space threats.
In 2017, Nottingham Trent University astronomer Daniel Brown warned there are six major threats the Earth faces.
Asteroids, solar flares, supernovas, solar flares, rogues gamma-ray bursts and moving stars were all lists as the major dangers lurking in space.
According to Brown, any one of these events could “severely endanger or even wipe out” the human race.
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Ms De Winne said: “For example, what happened in Chelyabinsk in Russia, we were lucky because two or three seconds off-course and it would have hit the city centre.
“Nobody saw it, nobody forecast it from any country even though everybody monitors the entire sphere of the entire Earth.
“So it’s known that the probability is enormous but recent history shows us that nobody is safe in this sense.
“Full protective platforms, in any event, will need to be made.”