12 October 2017
The AP reports that NASA planned to test an early warning network for space objects during a flyby of the 2012 TC4 asteroid on Thursday. 2012 TC4 is “on track” to pass within 27,200 miles of Earth, which NASA Program Scientist Michael Kelley said is “pretty close” for an asteroid, but he added that NASA’s preparations are only preventative. Worldwide observatories that are part of the International Asteroid Warning Network have been tracking the asteroid “for weeks to test communication and coordination. Kelley said it’s gone well.” He is leading government preparations on behalf of NASA’s Planetary Defense Coordination Office, and noted that communication tests have been conducted with FEMA and the White House. Additional tests are planned for the future.  (Image credit: University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy / Rob Ratkowski / NASA)
More Info (Associated Press)