The possibility is out there... the Earth could be struck by a near earth object. But what does that mean? What would happen if a near earth object struck? What factors into the results of a strike? What could be done to prepare? These could be frequently asked questions in the near future, and their answers could save lives.
"The question to ask is whether the risk of traveling to space is worth the benefit. The answer is an unequivocal yes, but not only for the reasons that are usually touted by the space community: the need to explore, the scientific return, and the possibility of commercial profit. The most compelling reason, a very long-term one, is the necessity of using space to protect Earth and guarantee the survival of humanity." William E. Burrows, The Wall Street Journal, 2003
Asteroid breaking apart. Picture from www.nasa.gov