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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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Japan’s Hayabusa 2 Heading To An Asteroid Wednesday

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Hayabusa and MASCOT lander

Hayabusa and MASCOT lander

With all the news about the exploits of the Philae lander, another daring mission to land a spacecraft on a cosmic body has been overlooked — the Japanese Space Agency’s (JAXA) Hayabusa 2, which is scheduled to launch on Wednesday and land on an asteroid.

Hayabusa 1 was the second spacecraft to land on an asteroid, following NASA’s NEAR-Shoemaker mission. Hayabusa 1 was the first spacecraft to retrieve and return samples from an asteroid, but despite the mission’s success, not everything went as planned. It actually landed twice on Asteroid 25143 Itokawa in November, 2005 because the spacecraft’s sample retrieval system didn’t operate at full capacity. So while it did manage to extract some samples, they amounted to a small fraction of what JAXA had hoped to retrieve.

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Planetary Resources And Zooniverse Invite You To Help Hunt Asteroids

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asteroid zooThe asteroid mining company Planetary Resources has just announced the launch of the Asteroid Zoo, which is kind of like SETI, but for asteroids. The program, a collaboration between Planetary Resources and Zooniverse, the Internet’s largest collection of citizen science projects of all shapes and sizes, is designed to encourage anyone and everyone to join the hunt for Near Earth Asteroids that might be dangerous and/or full of mining potential.

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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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Big Ol’ Asteroid Will Zoom Past Earth Tonight, And You Can Watch

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AsteroidShort of watching disaster flicks such as Deep Impact and Armageddon, how often do we get the chance to see asteroids fly by? Given all the talk about asteroid protection and the knowledge that such cosmic rocks have the capability to do serious damage to Earth and the human race, most people probably don’t see asteroid-viewing as being on the same level as star-gazing, but tonight it will be.

Asteroid 2000 EM26, which, at a diameter of 885 feet, is roughly the size of three football fields, will fly by Earth tonight at about 27,000 mph. Don’t worry — it won’t hit the planet, but it will come close enough (almost nine times as far away as the moon) to provide a pretty cool view. The best part is that the Slooh Space Camera will watch the asteroid for us, and Slooh will air a webcast starting at 9:00 pm EST tonight (you can also watch on Space.com). So hey, you can watch the Olympics on one screen and an asteroid flyby on the other. There’s something apropos about that, don’t you think? Especially since some of those skeleton racers and skiers are going almost as fast as the asteroid.

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What The World Will Look Like in 100 Quintillion Years

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Tomorrow's WorldOther than time travelers, no one can tell what the future holds, but that doesn’t stop people from speculating. BBC Future has really outdone itself when it comes to prognostication. Last year they predicted what would happen over the next 150, placing events and developments on a scale from most to least likely. To compile the list, they amassed dozens of predictions made by scientists, bloggers, and other pundits. They consulted Ladbrokes, a British betting firm, to come up with the odds of these predictions actually happening, though I’m not entirely sure how they come up with the exact numbers.

According to this graphic, the BBC thinks that we’ll be able to pay $100 for the sequencing of our genomes during this calendar year, and that scientists will create the first immortal mouse by next year. They also envision Facebook being overtaken as the biggest social network by 2016. Interesting. A bunch of the predictions also have to do with climate change. We’ll be able to log-on directly from our brains in 25 years, and we’ll have a base on Mars within 50 years. None of these calculations are too difficult to imagine, but that’s because this timeline is relatively modest. Not so for BBC Future’s new timeline. These folks are nothing if not ambitious, and in their new timeline, they look forward 100 quintillion years. Not familiar with that number? That’s 100,000,000,000,000,000,000 years in the future.