Nah .... Lucifier's Hammer had a trajectory that was aimed at Earth right from the first time they calculated its trajectory. But since the novel was set in 1970, and the comet (Lucifier's Hammer was a commet) was far away, the error in their trajectory calculations was about a million miles. Since Earth is only about 8000 miles wide, they did not think it would hit .....
NASA in 2000 has much, much better telescopes. More accuracy in the plotting of the positions, and more accuracy in the trajectory calculations.
If Lucifier's Hammer came today, we would know it would hit Earth much, much earlier.
What would we do about it, I do not know.
Niven and Pournelle's _Lucifier's Hammer_ is the best apoclypitic novel I have ever read - and I have read dozens of apocalyptic novels.
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