February 13th, 2013
11:44 AM ET

Saving the Earth from asteroids

For most of us, this Friday will be devoted to recovering from Valentine’s Day, or running to the store to buy a belated gift because you forgot that special day.

For Ed Lu, and anyone keeping up with space news recently, February 15 is significant for another reason.

The former NASA astronaut will be tracking 2012 DA14, a medium-sized asteroid expected to get so close to Earth that it will pass under all of the communications satellites orbiting our planet.

No one expects the asteroid to strike us, but Lu says it’s a warning that medium and large-sized asteroids are a threat to Earth.

Lu has devoted his life to tracking such asteroids, and he is working at launching a space telescope dedicated at finding, mapping and tracking asteroids that could harm the planet.

Lu spoke with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta about his mission. Catch a preview by clicking on the above video (part 1), and the one below (part 2). Watch the full interview Sunday at 2:30 pm ET on CNN’s The Next List.

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Filed under: In Space

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