- 2007 Amateur astronomers Garry Norton and Ingmar Urdhazy discover an asteroid that is cataloged as Norton-Urdhazy 2007B.
- 2013 Analysis of Asteroid Norton-Urdhazy 2007B indicates that it will pass within 200,000 miles of Earth on January 1, 2030. While the asteroid will be closer to Earth than the Moon is, most experts agree that there is practically no chance of it colliding with Earth.
- 2018 A revised calculation of Asteroid Norton-Urdhazy 2007B is released predicting that it will pass within 100,000 miles of Earth on January 1, 2030. The first estimates of its size are also released: at its extremities, Norton-Urdhazy 2007B is roughly 10 miles wide, 30 miles long, and a mile and a half tall. One astronomer is quoted as saying, “I still don’t think it will hit us, but if it does, we’re in for a Hell of a mess.”
- 2024 The publication of yet another revised calculation of Asteroid Norton-Urdhazy 2007B’s orbit states there is a fifty percent chance the asteroid will collide with Earth or pass through Earth’s atmosphere. Most predictions of what will happen if Norton-Urdhazy hits are extremely dire including the end of human civilization, mass extinctions of non-insect life forms, the planet being knocked out of orbit, and the atmosphere being blasted into space. Several governments and corporations start efforts to destroy or divert the asteroid before it hits Earth. Meanwhile, the media become frustrated at calling the approaching asteroid by its official designation, Norton-Urdhazy 2007B. Death Star, Doomsteroid, and Asterogedon are among the names various news organizations try, but NU Rock is the name that sticks with the public.
- 2029 All attempts to destroy or redirect NU Rock fail. Most can’t get launched in time because of technical and logistical difficulties. A few spacecraft are launched towards the asteroid, but always fail to communicate with ground controllers when they approach the rock. Despite the chance of Earth being hit by a massive meteor, most people go about their routine business. However, a few head for old bomb shelters or remote wilderness camps while others decide it’s time for “one last good party”. While these groups account for less then twenty percent of the population, enough people take themselves out of normal economic activity to depress trade.
- January 1, 2030 NU Rock gently splashes down in the North Pacific. Earth’s atmosphere remains intact and there are a few minor earthquakes and tsunamis in the Pacific Rim. But, for the most part, life after splashdown goes on much as it did before the arrival of the huge meteorite. A two hundred fifty square mile portion of NU Rock sticks above the ocean’s surface.
- January 8, 2030 A special session of the UN Security Council convenes to discuss what to do with the new landmass. Before the meeting is called to order, a message is transmitted from a cruise ship sailing next to the meteorite. The seventy five hundred passengers and crew declare themselves the “NU Rock Republic” and request UN membership.