Visiting an Asteroid

A 300-metre-wide asteroid, called 99942 Apophis, has a tiny chance of striking Earth in the year 2036. That is pretty interesting, but something even more interesting is that there is a plan to send a spacecraft to go and check it out. The idea is to learn more about the asteroid so that if it does end up on a collision course with Earth we will have a better chance of knocking it off it’s path. Fortunately we already know how we are going to deflect it if we need to.

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One Response to “Visiting an Asteroid”

  1. Asteroid Swatter Says:

    How are we to survive if another big one strikes? The conventional response has been popularized through a series of bad movies showing us blasting asteroids and comets to pieces with nuclear weapons.

    Actually Bruce Willis blowing up an asteroid would only make things worse, because most of the pieces would continue on their course and could cause much more damage than the original mass. It’s likelier that we’d know the trajectory of a large approaching asteroid several solar orbits in advance–and just give it a nudge which would make it gradually move away.

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