Kamikaze satellite to smash asteroid

An asteroid, 99942 Apophis to give it its full title, is a 46 million tonne, 1,600-foot-wide chunk of space rock that’s currently hurtling its way towards our planet. In 2029 it will soar safely past Earth, but we won’t be out of the woods just yet.

There’s a possibility that it will pass through a slim gravitational keyhole — a tiny, 965 kilometre (600 mile) area of space — that would cause the asteroid to turn back on itself and strike Earth some seven years later in 2036.

In 2009, US space agency NASA said that there’s a 1 in 250,000 chance that the asteroid will strike Earth.

Some scientists have now decided that they would like to smash a satellite into the asteroid to ensure it doesn’t pass through the slim gravitational keyhole. Learn more here.

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4 Responses to “Kamikaze satellite to smash asteroid”

  1. thereviewer Says:

    I would like to scrutinise NASA’s calculation. There is always a chance.

  2. mikemewz Says:

    It’s not very likely that it will hit us, but we are heading into a period of many close call asteroids to come our way… We should start building defenses now so we can be ready for any danger yet to come.

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