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Avoiding 'Armageddon': Asteroid Deflection Test Planned for 2022

In the 1998 movie "Armageddon," an asteroid "the size of Texas" threatens to destroy Earth until NASA employs a deep-sea oil driller (played by Bruce Willis) to plant nuclear bombs deep inside the asteroid and blow it apart.

Although the movie seems far-fetched — and parts of it certainly are — the need for an asteroid-defense strategy hasn't escaped either NASA or the European Space Agency (ESA). Both agencies are designing missions to test their ability to nudge an asteroid off-course if it seriously threatens Earth.

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