Asteroid Apophis: The asteroid we thought might hit us

Most of us won't be around a century from now when this thing just might smack into Earth, but our progeny will. Perhaps now is the time as asteroid Apophis whizzes past Earth, to set up the defenses that could/will "shoot" the threat into "smithereens and Pixie dust" on its following pass a century from now. To paraphrase: "There is only two kinds of good near Earth crossing asteroids/comets, ones that miss and vaporized ones". An "Oh Crap" moment a century from now will be equivalent to, and as effective as "a Tinker's Damn". Duh! Governments at least do the planning.
That should be an important event since any visualization of a live catastrophic near-miss helps advance awareness and funding.

"Collins estimates that were Apophis to strike Earth at 45 mph (20 kilometers per second), —  the average speed of asteroid impacts  —  the energy released would be about 10 billion, billion Joules (that's 1 followed by 19 zeros)."

That should state ~ 45,000 mph, not 45 mph. :)
It’ll be interesting to see if it has much effect on the orbits of some of the spacecraft in the vicinity as it passes. That’s one method to use to refine Apophis’ orbit.

Since it passes this close by, it would be good opportunity to send a substantial lander and get a free ride to study the asteroid and the surrounding interplanetary space.
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