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In an odd episode in 2013, a Russian space official admitted, unprovoked, that Moscow has no strategy for combating an invasion by galactic marauders. Luckily for Planet Earth, the United States does have a plan. And it counts on Russia and America fighting together.

Sergei Berezhnoy, on the staff of the Titov Space Control Center near Moscow, said that Russian air-defense officers “have not been tasked with preparing for the contingency of an alien attack,” according to Ria Novosti.

“There are enough problems on Earth and in near-Earth space,” Berezhnoy added.

A team of scientists from America’s NASA Planetary Science Division disagreed. “While humanity has not yet observed any extraterrestrial intelligence, contact with ETI remains possible,” Seth Baum, Jacob Haqq-Misra and Shawn Domagal-Goldman wrote in a 2011 paper.

The scientists conceded that extraterrestrials could be friendly or ambivalent—but we can’t be sure. “Contact with uncooperative [extra-terrestrial intelligence] seems likely to be harmful to humanity,” they warned.

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Category: Science