We have all heard of laws that protect the natural environment. Laws can help protect wildlife and regulate pollution but, have you ever heard of laws that protect the universe?
In 2005 a Russian astrologer, Marina Bai, sued Nasa for “disrupting the balance of the universe.” Bai claimed that NASA’s Deep Impact probe that was due to collide with the Temple 1 comet late 2005 was a “terrorist act.”
Bai was asking $300 million which she claimed she had the right of compensation for her “moral suffering” because the collision would affect the comet’s natural course, which she was studying at the time.
The goal of the probe was to collect material from the explosion that could be studied and scientist concluded that the collision had no effect on Earth and would only change the comet’s orbit about 10 cm.
Bai also claimed that the comet had a personal significance to her family as it was the comet that her grandfather pointed out to her grandmother during their courtship.
The case was eventually rejected by the Russian courts and the universe lives on in spite of the probe.