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In 2020, Russian president Yaakov Kozlov secretly intercepts and controls an asteroid named Apophis, planning to use it as a missile to impact Saudi Arabia’s
oil fields, thus strengthening his own nation’s profits in oil and gas exports. Russian astronomers at Moscow University become alarmed over the prospect of environmental damage if this asteroid impacts anywhere on the planet. Dr. Natalia Nijoka, one of the astronomers enlisted in Russia’s asteroid project, passes on her
concern to a friend working at the Israeli Embassy in Moscow.

Details of Kozlov’s project are communicated to James Duncan, head of the CIA. Natalia is subsequently recruited by the CIA to defect and assist U.S. scientists, working at the U.S.’s Jet Propulsion Labs in Pasadena, California, to counter Russia’s project. In order for Russia to hide its own action and involvement, Kozlov transferred its control site to an al Qaeda group in Yemen, leaving behind Russian technicians to maintain the asteroid’s trajectory. When the U.S. learns of this, a U.S. Delta Force captures the al Qaeda site in Yemen, along with its Russian technicians and the equipment used to control the trajectory of the asteroid.

This fiction novel is based on a very real threat to the planet which is now being reported. (See WSJ article from 10/1/2014.) The asteroid Apophis is supposed to miss Earth by just 19,000 miles in 2029, far closer than communication satellites now in orbit. If it were to hit the U.S., there would be no population on Earth unaffected by its impact.

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