ESA said: “NEOs could potentially hit our planet and, depending on their size, produce considerable damage.

“While the chance of a large object hitting Earth is very small, it would produce a great deal of destruction.

“NEOs thus merit active detection and tracking efforts.”

Even NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has warned of the cosmic threats lurking in deep space.

In April this year, he said: “We have to make sure that people understand that this is not about Hollywood, it’s not about movies.


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