CNN ran a hyperbolic segment Friday warning that the entire planet was left vulnerable to a strike from an asteroid because of the government shutdown.
CNN’s Tom Foreman claimed that the shutdown of “non-essential” government functions essentially left America and the rest of the planet at the mercy of giant space rocks as captured by Grabienews. During the shutdown, NASA’s asteroid monitoring service was one of several government functions to be declared “non-essential.”
Foreman reported that the last time the government shutdown for two weeks, the space agency disabled its monitoring system, which left the planet open to possible bombardment from outer space.
The CNN reporter said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a variety of other programs were also paused as a result of the shutdown, stating that the NASA program was one of them.
“Congress funds much of the scientific research done in this country. In 2013, that meant some experiments went on hold in 2013 and suffered costly losses of data. In space same year, for more than two weeks, NASA reportedly stopped monitoring potentially dangerous asteroids,” Foreman said.
He added that while it wasn’t an issue in 2013, it is now. “A big one, by the way, is expected to brush by Earth on February 4th,” he said.
The report ignores that the European Space Agency operates its own asteroid monitoring service called Space Situational Awareness. So should calamity be inbound from hundreds of thousands of miles above ground, someone’s always going to know.
With the Democrats finally caving to end the government shutdown on its third day, it looks like the Earth is safe—for now. Not that it was ever at risk.