Langley NEO Expert Interviewed by Local Media
Dan Mazanek didn't wake up this morning expecting to be on TV.
In fact, it wasn't until he got to work that Mazanek, a Near-Earth Object expert at NASA's Langley Research Center, heard about the meteorite that crashed into a frozen lake in Russia today, causing a sonic boom that shattered windows and left hundreds with injuries. He was in a meeting when his coworkers broke the news to him.
"I thought they were joking," he said.
By noon, Mazanek was standing in front of a news camera at NASA Langley's Headquarters Building talking to Stephanie Harris, a reporter from WAVY-TV, channel 10. Joe Flanagan from WVEC-TV, channel 13, and Dominic Brown from WTKR-TV, channel 3, stood close by, waiting to snag a few minutes of his time as well.
During the interview with Harris, Mazanek answered questions about the Russian meteorite and 2012 DA14, an asteroid expected to pass just over 17,000 miles from Earth at approximately 2:30 p.m. today.
Harris wanted to know if there was any correlation between the two. Mazanek said there wasn't, but added that both events were an important reminder of something he frequently thinks about.
"It can happen at any time," he said. "That's why it's important to be able to track and characterize and understand these objects."
Joe Atkinson, The Researcher News
Photo Credit: NASA/Sean Smith