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The Asteroids Adaptation Just Hired This Writer Pen The Video Game Space Opera

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asteroidsIf we can squeeze out an entire feature length movie based on a board game as inherently plotless as Battleship (or Ouija for that matter), turning the classic arcade game Asteroids into a major motion picture should be a cakewalk, right? Okay, maybe it’s not that simple, as they’ve gone through a couple of writers already, but the production recently brought in a new face to give the script a rewrite.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, F. Scott Frazier, who wrote the upcoming racing actioner Autobahn, which hits theaters later this year and stars both Felicity Jones and Nicholas Hoult, has been hired to rework the draft of the sci-fi adventure adaptation of the beloved 1979 game (there’s a dive bar by my house that still has one of these consoles, which is awesome). Universal won what turned into a bidding war a few years ago, back in 2009, and have been working on hammering out the details ever since.

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NASA’s Asteroid Capture Program Has Haters

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asteroid

Near-Earth asteroid Eros

For all the man-made catastrophes humans have to fear, there are natural ones too, like volcanic explosions, earthquakes, and asteroids. They’ve all caused widespread chaos and extinctions throughout Earth’s history. And while we can predict and prepare for these occurrences, to some degree, the general stance on these phenomena is that humans can do nothing about them—they’re products of nature at its most powerful and undiscriminating. But recently, NASA and other space agencies around the world have discussed various strategies for avoiding a direct hit by an asteroid. They’ve got a spacecraft specifically devoted to hunting these space rocks–both to identify threats and to look out for mining possibilities–guidelines for protection, a space cannon to blast away any that are too close for comfort, solar-powered laser plans, and something called the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM). This last one is a plan to guide a near-Earth asteroid into orbit around the moon for future exploration.

While capturing one would prove our ability to manipulate the trajectory of a big hunk of space rock, which could be a starting point for asteroid redirection, this mission probably isn’t going to save us from one on a collision course with Earth. ARM involves blowing off a small chunk (just over 30 feet in diameter) from an asteroid and towing that into lunar orbit in a bag. The program is less focused on cataclysm avoidance, which some people take issue with, and more centered on what we can learn, especially stuff that might apply to putting humans on Mars. It’s becoming clear that most experts believe ARM is basically a bad excuse for sucking up resources.

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A Giant Asteroid Named The Beast Will Buzz Earth Tonight

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Armageddon-WalkIf you have a nickname like “the Beast,” there are one of two things in play. It could be an ironic moniker, and you are in no way beastly at all—like when I make fun of my 14-pound dog after she tries to take down a pair really confused Great Danes on a walk around the neighborhood. Or, it’s entirely possible that you bear some of the features people normally associate with beastliness, like you’re huge, angry, and parents cross the street, clutching their children close to them, when they see you on the sidewalk. The asteroid set to buzz past Earth today, June 8, falls into this second category, and has definitely earned the nickname beast.

The Beast, also known by the much less lyrical name 2014 HQ124, is roughly the size of city block, and has been dubbed a potentially hazardous asteroid because of how close to our planet it will come. Before you sprint out the door to round up Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck in order to save the day, there isn’t really much to worry about. Though the asteroid will come close to our planet, close is a relative term. The flying space rock will still be more than 770,000 miles from us, which, if you’re doing the math, is more than triple the distance between the Earth and the moon. We should be just fine, but on the off chance that we all wake up dead tomorrow, know that someone, somewhere made a miscalculation.

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CNN Publishes Hoax Article About Doomsday Asteroid

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AsteroidWe like to remain optimistic here at GFR. We like to think that, in spite of all the challenges facing our species, we will ultimately overcome those obstacles and find a way forward, together, even if that path is messy and full of false starts. But if we are doomed to be wiped out before we manage to leave the cradle, one of the most likely doomsday threats is a rogue asteroid smacking into our planet. It’s a very real threat, and there’s no telling whether we would be able to do anything about it even if we got plenty of advance warning. So, you can understand why some people might have been a little upset earlier this week when CNN published a story claiming that we had a 50% chance of being hit by a potentially civilization-ending asteroid in 2041. On March 35, 2041, to be precise.

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Urgent Launch Of Air Force Satellites Delays NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Flight Test

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orionNASA’s next manned spacecraft — its first new model in 40 years — is called the Orion, or “Apollo on steroids.” Presuming that it passes the various stages of unmanned flight tests, this may be the spacecraft that brings humans to Mars or to the asteroid belt for mining. To put it mildly, there are a lot of eggs in Orion’s basket, so much so that not even the government shutdown halted work on the craft. Even Universe Today dubbed 2014 “the Year of Orion.” Despite its importance, there are higher-priority matters, such as national security. Orion’s first exploration flight test, due to take place in September, has been pushed back to allow the U.S. Air Force to launch two Space Situational Awareness satellites.

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Asteroid Hunting Spacecraft NEOWISE Is Back In Business

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NEOWISE imageForget diamonds — asteroids are the hottest rocks out there. And unlike most objects, celestial or otherwise, asteroids have a particularly compelling dichotomy. On the one hand, they’re mineable and they provide a wealth of resources that could benefit us on Earth, as well as catalyze space exploration. On the other hand, they present for some dodgy spacecraft flying conditions, obliterated the dinosaurs, and have wreaked havoc in Russia. Along with a slew of movies about asteroid apocalypses, these events have galvanized scientists and governments into action to detect (and hopefully prevent) threats posed by asteroids. Regardless of whether you think asteroids are cool or terrifying, or a bit of both, we have to be able to find them in order to do anything else with or about them. NASA has put out a call to help it find asteroids, but now the single best asteroid hunter, NEOWISE, is back in business.

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