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NASA: 12/21/12 just 'another day'

Dec. 20, 2012 at 11:25 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. space agency says it's been swamped with calls and emails from people asking about the end of the world, which is supposed to occur Friday.

The myth of the world ending on 12/21/12 may have originated in ancient times with the Mayan calendar but has exploded in the age of the Internet and social media, raising questions and concerns among people around the world now looking to NASA for answers, the Los Angeles Times reported.

NASA spokesman Dwayne Brown said the agency usually gets about 90 calls or emails a week from people with questions. Recently, though, as 12/21/12 approaches, the number of inquiries has skyrocketed to 200 to 300 a day.

"Who's the first agency you would call?" asked Brown, based at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "You're going to call NASA."

So NASA decided to do "everything in our power" to set the record straight, he said, including interviews with scientists posted online and a Web page Brown said has had more than 4.6 million hits.

And, it has a video, "Why the World Didn't End Yesterday," up and running, even though the name implies it has a release date of Saturday, the Times said.

"We kind of look ahead -- we're a look-ahead agency -- and we said, 'You know what? People are going to probably want to come to us'" for answers, Brown explained. "We're doing all that we can do to let the world know that as far as NASA and science goes, Dec. 21 will be another day."

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