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Dawn framing camera (FC) image of the Asteroid Vesta. Photo: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images

Next week, NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office (PDCO), FEMA and other U.S. agencies will play out their strategies for a fictional — but ultimately realistic — scenario of an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.

Why it matters: The world’s first collision experiment with an asteroid took place earlier this month, when Japan sent a bomb down to the surface of Asteroid Ryugu. Axios found in 2018 that Americans rank monitoring Earth's climate and detecting asteroids and other objects that could hit the planet as top priorities for NASA.

The bottom line: "What NASA has learned from working with FEMA is that emergency management officials are not focused on the scientific details about the asteroid," NASA's press release on the upcoming drill reads. There have been 3 similar NASA-FEMA exercises so far, which included representatives from the State and Defense departments.

Follow along on Twitter:

Go deeper: Spacecraft encounter with asteroid Bennu is test run for defending Earth

Go deeper

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.

10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

The new Washington

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Axios subject-matter experts brief you on the incoming administration's plans and team.

Rep. Lou Correa tests positive for COVID-19

Lou Correa. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) announced on Saturday that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Correa is the latest Democratic lawmaker to share his positive test results after last week's deadly Capitol riot. Correa did not shelter in the designated safe zone with his congressional colleagues during the siege, per a spokesperson, instead staying outside to help Capitol Police.