While listening to the Detroit Lions get destroyed by Green Bay and simultaneously watching the Giants get beat up on by the Saints on TV, I saw a commercial for the Air Force. The situation on this commercial is as follows: on a space station orbiting Earth, the crew has witnessed a piece of space junk ricochet off another piece and hurl straight towards *gasp* the space station itself! The team quickly makes the proper adjustments, and everyone is safe. The Air Force logo flies onto the screen with text letting you know that this isn't the future, it's NOW! Holy smokes!
I've talked about space junk before. It's a huge problem and there are many groups whose sole purpose is to track every single piece. However, if something was to suddenly change direction, it's unlikely that you'd be able to move out of the way in time AND in a safe manner. So, the commercial was a bit of an exaggeration.
The Air Force, however, has a great space weather program. They are currently working on internalizing as many numerical models as quickly as possible to create a powerful forecasting system. They have good scientists that bring cutting edge work to conferences on a consistent basis. A commercial that would have been more accurate and just as compelling could have been one about the imminent danger posed by a solar flare (or other solar event.) It would have better represented their capabilities and near-future goals.
Ugh, the Lions are terrible on defense.