motherboard: Among the priorities outlined by the strategy are improving Near-Earth Object (NEO) detection, developing methods for deflecting asteroids, and developing interagency emergency procedures in the event of an NEO impact. by Daniel Oberhaus
'“If we were to be faced with a serious asteroid impact hazard, it's going to take more than just NASA to try to do something about it in space,” Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer, told Motherboard in a phone call. “If there’s not enough time to do something about the asteroid in space, it's going to take efforts by a lot of agencies to prepare to take the hit. This is really the first time we've tried to pull together an all-government preparedness strategy for dealing with this very serious natural disaster.”
'Near-Earth Objects are asteroids or comets whose orbits around the Sun un (sic) intersect with or come near Earth’s orbit. Several thousand NEOs have been discovered, ranging in size from a few dozen meters to several kilometers in diameter. Every day the Earth gets hit with dozens of these space rocks, but most are so small that they burn up in the atmosphere before ever reaching the surface. Inevitably, however, one of the larger asteroids will hit Earth and the results could be catastrophic.'
"National Near-Earth Object Preparedness Strategy" (pdf) here